Close to 90% of the 73 employees of Tenneco Orléans are on strike since Wednesday. Avenue Buffon, in La Source, they met again this Tuesday morning, September 13, at the entrance of the factory, which is no longer called Federal Mogul since Tenneco acquired the group in 2018.
90%: a figure put forward by José Fernandez, CFDT union representative and Patrice Taright, secretary of the social and economic committee, also CFDT.
Their automotive subcontracting business will close at the end of the year, as they were informed, at the beginning of July. The communication department of the group acknowledged, in writing, “the difficult situation” as well as the “permanent and high-quality dialogue with staff representatives” and acknowledged that “73 layoffs were announced without a buyer and content solutions” .
The latter negotiated to obtain a higher supralegal compensation than was offered to them, which refers to 30,000 euros plus 2,000 euros per year of seniority for all, from the first year. At 2,000 euros the discussion stumbled, this September 13 in the morning.
Whether reclassification is possible, esp at the Tenneco factory in Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle, the current state of the car pushes them to be cautious. “We are suffering a big slowdown in three years“.
Production has been halted since Wednesday, according to CFDT.
Since the Covid crisis, car sales have not increased, diesel continues to lose market share, and lack of electrical components orders from manufacturers are slow. Tenneco Orléans mainly works for Renault, but also Stellantis and others.
The factory produced, ten years ago, up to 30 million valves and tappets per year, for heat engines and in particular diesel, according to two unionists. A figure that fell to 12 million last year, for a turnover that also fell, according to them, in some years, from 40 to 10 million euros for the Orleans site.
However, Tenneco, an American group of 78,000 employees, may have other goals, including economies of scale. A big part of Orleans production goes to the Czech Republic, as well as Thailand and France. Another factory, in Germany, also had to close.
A surprising decision for employees “whose average age is 48 years and seniority of 22 years on average”, emphasizes José Fernandez. “They know they can’t find it no work on the car…”
The reasons for the closure are according to Tenneco
Tenneco responded to us in writing about the reasons for the closure:
“The announcement of this project is the result of positioning the site in an overcapacity market and is part of a global effort to consolidate the automotive valve manufacturing network in Europe.
“The demand for the products produced at the La Source site has been decreasing since 2014. This project is the result of several factors:
* significant decrease in demand in the monometallic valve market;
* reducing the need for valves for diesel engines;
* reduction in the average number of cylinders per engine and steady reduction in new car registrations since 2019 (-20% in Europe between March 2022 and March 2021);
* excess valve manufacturing capacity in the world;
* construction of Chinese and Indian competitors in large production capacity of automobile valve;
* the inability of the plant to conquer new markets due to strong competition and pressure on prices.
“New contracts, essential for the longer term survival of the plant, are not provided at a level to support a financially viable business. reduced by the reduction of temporary contracts and the many natural departure of employees. it is more and more difficult to recover the activity.”