The association Les Affranchis de Bridgestone takes legal action against the closure of the Béthune plant

“Employees are not going to let it go” : Led by their lawyer, Fyodor Rilov, The Goodfellas of Bridgestone met on Thursday 19 November to present their battle plan to employees. A week after the confirmation of the closure of the Béthune (Pas-de-Calais) tire plant, this young association seized the Lille judicial court for interim relief.

The way of doing things is not common: this collective of around forty employees has been set up in reaction to the action of the Bridgestone inter-union. David D’Hornes, president of the association and former elected CGT of the site, wanted “Do an action” and go further than negotiations that he considers fruitless: “In the meetings, just yesterday, the unions made proposals to management. But they tell employees to wait and see what happens with the PSE [plan de sauvegarde de l’emploi]… For us, this is not correct! “

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The Freedmen criticize the unions for simply wanting to limit the damage and the government for focusing on taking over the factory. Minister Delegate for Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on Wednesday (November 18) that the Japanese manufacturer should “Help the recovery regardless of the buyer” and “Improve the plan” departure of the 863 employees concerned.

” Period of notice “

The association’s legal action aims to delay the closure of the site. “We are going to ask the president of the tribunal to order the continuation of commercial relations between Bridgestone France and Bridgestone Europe, said Fyodor Rilov, a lawyer in social law known for having defended the employees of Goodyear, Continental and Whirlpool. The production of the French subsidiary is based entirely on the Béthune site, and Bridgestone Europe, a holding company established in Belgium, buys all of its production from it.

The end of Béthune is therefore the end of Bridgestone France. Gold “An article of the Commercial Code requires that, when a commercial contract in such a dependency is broken, a notice period of maximum eighteen months must be observed”, the lawyer said. Considering the situation, the Freedmen thus hope to obtain a continuation of the production and the survival of the jobs during a year and a half.

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By aiming for this extension, the employees hope to bring the group back on its closure project. A second procedure should follow, to override French management deemed powerless by the lawyer: the association wishes to seize the commercial court to request the appointment of a provisional administrator to take over Bridgestone France, and prevent it from “To be hara-kiri”.

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