Unions urge action to save Saint Nazaire jobs.
UNIONS at the STX Europe shipyard at Saint Nazaire, France have called for a day of action on March 3 in an effort to persuade the French government to take action to safeguard the future of the yard and the 6,000 jobs which depend on it.
They have urged the government, which has a 33.34% stake in the yard, to play its role of shareholder by providing financial guarantees to enable it to secure desperately needed newbuilding orders.
They also want it to invest in the development and diversification of the yard, France"s only surviving major shipyard, and even to consider taking control of it through acquisition of the 16.65% still held by its former owner, the Alstom industrial group.
?It is a question of the future of an industrial sector, of the jobs which depend on it, of the preservation of the know-how,? the unions said in announcing their day of action.
They are being backed by Socialist Party leaders in the Pays de la Loire region, who have called on the government to ?assume its responsibilities? in the face of the ?extremely preoccupying? situation at the yard.
Lay-offs at the yard are due to reach new highs during the three months from the beginning of March to the end of May.
The 2,400 direct employees face an average six weeks of lay-off over the period, with a third of them due to be laid off over virtually the whole of the three-month period.
The 1,275-cabin MSC Magnifica, one of three vessels still under construction at the yard, is due to be delivered to MSC Cruises on Thursday next week.
It will be followed in mid-June by Norwegian Cruise Lines" 2,100-cabin Norwegian Epic, leaving the yard with just one helicopter carrier to be completed for the French Navy next year.