Saint-Gobain Cristalera paralyzed by protests

Workers at Saint-Gobain Cristalera at Avils in Asturias, northern Spain supported a 24-hour strike on 29 November 2008 that paralyzed the factory and demanded the “involvement of government, such as t…

Workers at Saint-Gobain Cristalera at Avils in Asturias, northern Spain supported a 24-hour strike on 29 November 2008 that paralyzed the factory and demanded the “involvement of government, such as the Principality of Asturias to avoid the closure of the R&D plant”, which may “have its days numbered” if measures are not taken, Jos Mara Lombardia of the workers“ committee reportedly said. “It is unacceptable that a company of this size should present us with measures that could be the prelude to the closure of R&D at the heart of Aviles, and, at the same time, outsourcing”, added the union representative, who emphasized the mobilization of workers in defense of the factory and asked for the involvement of government to solve a very difficult problem. Workers are scheduled to meet on 1 December 2008 with the industry secretary in the Principality, Graciano Torre, to apply for mediation by the regional government in order to avoid what may be the closure of a facility that employs about 80 workers and has already suffered the loss of 21 jobs earlier in November 2008 with the closure of the testing furnace at the Avils Center for Research and Development. The search for an alternative to this state-of-the-art installation is at the root of the workers“ protests, along with other contingency measures such as outsourcing and the closure of facilities such as the Sekurit windshield manufacturing plant. The Sekurit plant employs 250 who will be laid off for eleven days as announced on 28 November 2008 because of the situation in the automotive sector. Management said that auto manufacturers will work to 10% of their capacity during the month of December and are in a difficult situation due to the accumulation of stocks. The lay-offs will take place between 13 and 23 December 2008 inclusive, to reduce wage costs.