Michelin/employees agree on support plan for facility closure

French tyre maker Michelin and its employees at its Roche-sur-Yon, France, truck tyre plant have signed an agreement for an employee support programme. Following 12 weeks of negotiations from October 22, 2019 to January 7, 2020, the CFDT, CFE?CGC and SUD representative trade unions and the FO non-representative union have agreed on the employee support measures to be deployed as part of the closure of the group’s plant in La Roche-sur-Yon.

Michelin said the support programme will offer flexible job security, enabling every employee who is not eligible for early retirement to pursue his or her career either within the group or externally through outplacement.

Michelin said as part of the “inplacement” package, priority will be given to La Roche-sur-Yon employees when it comes to filling 100 jobs to be created at its Cholet, France, plant.

In addition, the agreement guarantees that employees who are not satisfied with or not suited to their new position within the group will be offered another job at Michelin.

Michelin said it would support outplacement schemes for roles in the La Roche-sur-Yon region, while allowing employees to return to the company if unhappy with the new employer.

Furthermore, the agreement initiates an early retirement plan for employees eligible to take full retirement by year-end 2025. This includes some 100 employees aged around 55 years for production operators and around 57 years for managers, administrative employees, technicians and supervisors.

Michelin had last year in October made public plans to close the 47-year-old factory, citing structural transformation of the premium truck tyre market, both in Europe and overseas, for its decision to close the factory.

The transformation, according to Michelin, includes a European market with no growth expected, intense competition and an expanding entry-level brand segment.

Michelin had invested US$132 million in 2013 in the plant but was unable to increase productivity.