Risk of Carambar shortage due to social conflict in the North

What if the Carambar were momentarily disappearing from supermarket shelves? This is not a joke, but the consequence of ten days of walkout started since mid-November 2020 by a large part of the 114 employees of the Carambar factory in Marcq-en-Baroeul, in the North. “Last week, we were supposed to take out 120 tonnes of goods, we only made 12, explains Fayçal Rahali, SUD delegate. Slowing down production is the only lever we have left in front of management. “

At the beginning of November, the Carambar & Co group (Lutti, Poulain, Krema, Michoko, Suchard, Malabar …) announced the move of the aging factory in Marcq-en-Baroeul 8 kilometers away, in the Lutti site, in Bondues, where 300 employees already work. Objective of the French company, created during the takeover of the brand by the investment company Eurazeo in 2017, to improve the “competitiveness” of the leading French confectionery producer.

It is in Bondues that certain star sweets on the French market such as Arlequin, Bubblizz or Koala are produced. The CEO of Carambar & Co, Thierry Gaillard, assured union representatives that the move and closure of the rue de la Chocolaterie factory would be done without job cuts: 105 positions will be offered at Bondues for the 114 permanent employees. of Marcq, and 10 positions (for non-manual workers) in reclassification on the five other sites of the group.

“We will lose on average 22% of our remuneration”

“The move is not a problem for us, but the loss of salary is! They close the factory, they fire us, then take us back to Bondues by removing part of our premiums. We will lose on average 22% of our remuneration, details David Poure, FO delegate, majority union in the Marcquoise factory, built in 1899, rue de la Chocolaterie. We undertook a mediation with the Regional Directorate for Enterprises, Competition, Consumption, Labor and Employment, who admitted that it was not possible to lower our salaries in this way. “

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The CEO said his group was in a complicated, competitive market, in decline for two or three years. AT The voice of the North, he precised : “We are making economies of scale by bringing everything together on one site. Let us remember that in other times, other shareholders spoke of relocation to Poland or Turkey… ” The employees highlight the good turnover of their company: 330 million euros for an annual production of Carambar of 7,500 tonnes, or more than 80,000 kilometers of bars with caramel and cocoa, or with fruit produced each. year.

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