“It shows that unfortunately goodwill is not enough. We have sometimes been taken for fools, ”he told them, referring to the successive bankruptcies of the buyers of this industrial site where he has visited twice since 2017, assuring each time that the site was going to leave.
“It’s economic and industrial life, we had adventures that disappointed everyone. In the times there are failures, ”he explained to the press. But he admitted that the first buyer, WN, whom he had come to welcome as a savior in 2017, “behaved like a bounty hunter” and “will be judged”.
The employees, who have suffered three successive layoffs since Whirlpool’s decision in 2017 to relocate to Poland, told him about their difficult journey. Of the 278 initial employees, 43 still do not have a solution, said the group’s HRD.
“The last year has been so difficult, we’ve been lied to so much. I find it hard to talk about it, it was terrible, ”said a former employee, who has been converted to real estate. “We would like to leave knowing that the 43 who remain, of which 25 are in permanent difficulty, have a solution”.
“For four years, we have not given up for them,” added a former trade unionist. “Each time we believe in it, we invest and it stops,” testifies another.
“I understand very well. I got screwed with you. It is not your failure. It is their failure. You are victims of the errors that have taken place and that you have had to endure, ”replied the president, promising to continue to help with individual solutions.
Monday morning’s meeting, with nine Whirlpool alumni including four ex-unionists, was unveiled on Twitter by François Ruffin, LFI deputy for the Somme. “We had to insist very hard” for this meeting, he declared on France Bleu Picardie. The president’s entourage, however, affirmed that it had been in preparation for “several days”.
The Whirlpool tumble dryer factory closed permanently in June 2018. The first buyer WN was liquidated a year and a half later and the second, Ageco, had the same fate.
In 2017 in the in-between rounds, Whirlpool had become a political totem, after a surprise duel on the spot between Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, both promising to save jobs.
After this meeting, the Head of State went to the Halle Freyssinet where he was expected on several economic announcements, in the presence of the president of the Hauts-de-France region Xavier Bertrand, candidate for the LR nomination for the presidential.
The head of state was already in the region on Friday, where he announced state aid for the Sanbre-Avesnois-Thérache territory.
François Ruffin, accompanied by a dozen midwives on strike for more than a month, also questioned him on the fate of AESH (accompanying students with disabilities) who earn less than 1,000 euros per month and on that of midwives who have “lost the meaning of their work”.