Cristaleria Espaola: judge annuls redundancies

A redundancy plan by Saint-Gobain subsidiary Cristaleria Espaola in l“Arbog (Tarragona, north west Spain) has been annulled by the High Court of Catalunya. The plan was approved by the Employment Dep…

A redundancy plan by Saint-Gobain subsidiary Cristaleria Espaola in l“Arbog (Tarragona, north west Spain) has been annulled by the High Court of Catalunya. The plan was approved by the Employment Department of the Catalunya Regional Government in January 2000 and lead to the loss of 97 jobs. The Administrative Disputes section of the High Court overturned a decision by a lower court which had rejected trade union arguments against the redundancies. Saint-Gobain said 16 January 2004 that the verdict is not final and that it was appealing to the Supreme Court. Cristaleria Espaola presented the redundancy plan for the Arbog plant to the Regional Employment Department at the end of 1999 with the aim of “obtaining authorisation to extinguish the contracts of 97 members of staff … belonging to the contruction division” The company said the redundancies were for “technical, organisational and production” reasons, as it planned to introduce machinery that would require changes to ways of working that would lead to excess staff numbers in the medium term. The Catalan high court annulled the redundancy plan authorised by the Region on the grounds that the technical, production and organisational reasons cited were “necessary but not sufficient” to justify the redundancies. The court said that the company, which was not in economic difficulties, had failed to show that the upgrades would lead to a future narrowing of commercial margins sufficient to justify such a drastic measure.