libcom.org Dec. 29, 2009
Workers have launched all-out strikes at two sites owned by Sanofi Pasteur
in support of a demand for higher wages.
Workers at the sites in Val de Reuil and Marcy began action on December
15th, they are demanding an improved contract from management. The pay
offer of 1.2% has been dismissed and workers are demanding a 3% rise with
a minimum increase of 150 euros a month.
Workers are angry that after the company cited low profits last year as a
reason for only giving a pay rie of 1.8% they are now offering even less
when profits have nearly doubled. The average mangement pay rise of 6% and
23% increase in the dividend have angered workers who are being asked to
settle for a pay rise linked to inflation.
In response to strike action management initially offered to add a minimum
increase of 46.12 euros a month and has since threatened to withdraw this
if the strikes do not end immediately. Management are claiming that the
entire package on offer to workers is worth nearer 3.2% and thaat the
average wage at the company is higher than the industry average.
There has been strike action at five other sites owned by the company. At
Marcy 600 workers voted for strike action at a General Assembly and
reports suggest 1000 workers out of the 3000 are actively striking
although the company has claimed that this figure is closer to 400.
Workers have occupied and blockaded parts of the sites with pickets manned
24 hours a day. At the Val de Reuil site the unions are reporting 4-500
out of 1800 workers striking while management claim fewer than 200.
Rebellyon has also published a diary of the strike at Marcy which gives an
idea of the day to day conduct of the strike.
Monday: General Assembly called by the unions (CFDT CFTC FO CGT CFE-CGC)
600 workers vote in favour of a strike. Workers march through the
buildings on site paying particular attention to managment areas.
16h A meeting at 8am is agreed for the following day.
Tuesday: the Strike continues.
Negotiations in PAris with union delegates. The company refuses to raise
the offer but offers a minimum increase of 46.12 euros a month.
Negotiations break down and workers hold a demonstration.
15h: Suppliers are prevented from entering the site. Pallets are used to
block entry points to the site and more strikers arrive to reinforce them.
16h: All entry points are blocked.
A General assembly votes to continue the strike until the Wednesday.
Wednesday: Site blockaded from 7am. All vehicle entry stopped, only those
on foot can get into the site.
11h: workers set up braziers and light them.
14h: negotiations resume: management block all attempts to negotiate. The
pallets start to burn.
16h: 800 vote at the General Assembly to continue the strike until
Thursday. As management used the lifting of the blockade overnight to move
materials in workers vote to maintain the blockade overnight.
Night: total blockade. Workers keep guard in shifts and patrol the site.
Management also tries to 'restore dialogue' by sending pairs of managers
out to try to talk to workers on the barricades. Management spent the rest
of their time giving names of strikers to huissiers de justice.*
Thursday: Blockades continue.
14h: Negotiations still deadlocked. 17 out of Sanofi's 28 sites are on
stike but only Marcy is completely blockaded.
16h: General Assembly. Vote to continue the strike in the 'Pasteur"
sections of the company. Reports says mobilisation at other sites isn't
strong enough. Only the "Pasteur" sites of Marcy and Val de Reuil will
continue their mobilisation to try to bring the Pasteur negotiations to a
good conclusion. The Assembly also votes to continue the stike from the
4th of January if negotiations tomorrow are unsuccesful.
Night: Another night of blockades. In spite of the snow and temperatures
of -5 there is a very festive atmosphere.
Friday: Blockades continue.
12h: negotiations between the union group and the director of Pasteur are
then referred to the director of Sanofi-Aventis who announces that either
workers accept 1.2% and the 46 euro minimum or he will withdraw the
minimum and they will 'only' get the 1.2%. Workers march through the
buildings. All the fire alarms go off and trucks that try to leave while
workers are marching find that their tyres are flat.
15h: Assembly confimrs the continuation of the strike from the 4th of
January (few workers are scheduled to work before then) and submits
official notice of strike until Sunday 20th in support of the weekend
Images and original story from rebellyon, translation and additional
material from libcom
*Here the account says 'this problem was quickly solved' but it is unclear
which problem they are talking about.