Type
Bankruptcy
Country
France
Region
Ouest; Poitou-Charentes; Vienne
Location of affected unit(s)
Ch√Ętellerault
Sector
Manufacturing
Manufacture For Transport Equipment
Manufacture Of Motor Vehicles, Trailers And Semi-Trailers
29.3 - Manufacture of parts and accessories for motor vehicles

366 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
16 June 2009
Employment effect (start)
31 July 2009
Foreseen end date
31 July 2009

Description

French car parts manufacturer New Fabris was declared bankrupt on 16 June and the New Fabris workers' employer has been placed in liquidation by the commercial court in Lyon, east-central France in June. The court ruling has been prompted by the withdrawal of the potential buyers. German Halberg Guss and French Bernard Krief Consulting have shown interest in the firm, which sells nearly 90% of its production to carmakers Peugeot and Renault.

The liquidated company's 366 employees will be laid off in July.

Workers laid-off from a car-parts factory in Chatellerault in central France abandoned a threat to blow up their workplace after the Government promised to top up their severance pay. They blamed Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroen for their plight.

The conflict at the firm New Fabris, which had been dragging on for weeks, highlighted the radicalisation of workers' protests in France as the economic downturn hits the job market. Faced with management's refusal, some of the workers had piled up gas cylinders at their factory in Chatellerault in central France and threatened to use them as a bomb. When the workers' ultimatum expired, the French Industry Ministry offered to pay the workers the compensation in addition to 17,500 to 19,000 euros they are entitled to under the law.

On 31 July, the New Fabris workers agreed to the terms offered by the French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi severance pay of EUR 12,000 each. After marathon talks with management, mediated by the authorities, New Fabris staff held a vote on whether to accept a final offer to raise their compensation to 12,000 euros net of tax from a previous offer of 11,000 euros pre-tax. In secret ballot, 204 workers voted to accept the new deal while 24 voted against it and the majority of workers voted to end the protest.

New Fabris was formerly owned by Zen group, its two largest clients were Renault and Peugeot. The factory is to be liquidated under an April court order.

New Fabris, founded in 1947 by brothers Eugene and Quentin Fabris, started out making sewing machine parts before branching into the auto sector, employing up to 800 workers in the 1990s.


Sources

  • 4 August 2009: Le Monde
  • 3 August 2009: Les Echos
  • 16 June 2009: Les Echos
  • 16 June 2009: AFP

Citation

Eurofound (2009), New Fabris, Bankruptcy in France, factsheet number 69348, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/69348.