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Cycleurope: Close Down of Machecoul Plant?

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BIKE EUROPE: MACHECOUL, France (June 14) – It promises to become a hot summer at Cycleurope’s Machecoul plant. After the management had decided to relocate the commercial department to Cycleurope’s other factory in Romilly, and more unpopular measures were announced, staff at the former Gitane factory went into protest. And, if one has to judge […]

BIKE EUROPE: MACHECOUL, France (June 14) – It promises to become a hot summer at Cycleurope’s Machecoul plant. After the management had decided to relocate the commercial department to Cycleurope’s other factory in Romilly, and more unpopular measures were announced, staff at the former Gitane factory went into protest. And, if one has to judge by the open letter the trade union has written to the management (of which Bike Europe received a copy), not without good cause. The transfer of 70 commercial employees is just part of the restructuring. Other measures include the transfer of the Gitane brand to Romilly, the fact that the Peugeot brand, a household name in France (literally!) has ceased to exist, and the end of frame production at the Machecoul factory. A fusion of both sites has also been proposed, as well as cuts in the workers’ bonus system, which has already set them back some 15% in their gross income. All in all not a climate that has led to all round understanding. Especially since the Machecoul plant is the best performing of the whole Cycleurope group (528.000 units in 2004). The trade union members stress the fact that the Cycleurope group is not using its assets to the full extend, and is instead listening to out-side advisors. To put oil on the flames, the well respected and local plant-manager, Patrick Guihal was replaced overnight after 29 years at Machecoul. When asked for his comment on this situation, Cycleurope CEO, Tony Grimaldi made the following statement:
‘We have no plans to close Machecoul plant.
We have closed our frame production. At the moment we are strengthening
our organisation with a new Plant Manager in Machecoul’.

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