The fire les, tires and wooden pallets release a plume of black smoke at the entrance to the Tereos factory. A caravan destined for the recycling center is being devoured by flames. They chose to hit hard with a blockage which began around 5 a.m. this Wednesday morning at the Haussimont starch factory. And the employees will not give up because the closure of the Marne site has already been recorded.
“We are all in the same boat, if we have to toughen up the movement we will toughen it up. In this story, we are the fifth wheel of the carriage. Some of us will have to move 200 km away even though they have built their lives here,” storms Fabien Protat, CDFT union representative.
The Haussimont factory, which has 62 employees, is due to close in 2024. The information was confirmed at the end of August by the sugar giant Tereos. Negotiations began with management in September during three meetings. But no agreement on reclifications and the terms of the PSE has been found, in particular on departure bonuses. Result: the boycott of the potato campaign was established.
This campaign was to begin this Wednesday, September 20 for exactly 110 days. All day long, the incessant ballet of trucks coming to unload their potatoes will continue. But the delivery areas will quickly become saturated. “The factory is at a standstill because 100% of production employees are on indefinite strike. We are not preventing deliveries because we do not want to penalize farmers and delay their payments.”
The campaign, which lasts almost four months, usually allows 230,000 tonnes of potatoes to be processed in the Haussimont production plant. “This year, it’s different, we have nothing to lose and we can stay several weeks to blockade the factory. We hope that management will reopen negotiations and listen to our demands,” emphasizes Fabien Protat.
The first layoffs could occur in February 2024 the day after the end of this final potato campaign.