"A company like this cannot go in a month"

"We don't want compensation, we want our jobs." Three workers at the Nissan plant in the Free Trade Zone insist on this demand at the start of the demonstration in Madrid, which was attended by hundreds of colleagues affected by the announcement of closings that the multinational in Catalonia intends to carry out, which also reaches the Montcada i Reixac and Sant Andreu de la Barca plants. Workers have marched through the streets of the capital singing the 'Bella Ciao', many disguised as the characters of the series La Casa de Papel, against "business terrorism", which they feel the Japanese automotive company commits by not wanting negotiate to find feasibility alternatives for factories in Catalonia, which leaves about 3,000 people on the street directly and another 20,000 indirectly.

More than a decade of lack of investment and unsuccessful bets condemn the Nissan plant in Barcelona

More than a decade of lack of investment and unsuccessful bets condemn the Nissan plant in Barcelona

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"A company like this cannot leave in a month, without negotiating, with more time solutions can be found, but it does not want to," criticizes this media worker, who has spent 15 years at the Zona Franca plant. "My partner is also a Nissan worker and we have a little one, so imagine," he adds. The management of Nissan Motor Ibérica met yesterday with the representatives of the workers, to whom they presented the report with the technical justification for the closure of the industrial plants in Catalonia, while the unions reiterated the request to withdraw the ERE. The company argues that it is willing to discuss the conditions of the collective dismissal in the consultation period, including issues such as time and schedule, but always with the ERE on the table.

Carmen also thinks about her children and the future that can await them if Nissan closes in Catalonia. She is a waitress and serves within the Zona Franca plant, through a subcontractor. "The company has already told us to all take to the streets. My husband is a Nissan worker, this breaks everything," the 51-year-old woman tells elDiario.es. "We believe that there are options to save plants and jobs and that is why we have come to Madrid. We ask the government to listen to us and do something. Pedro Sánchez told us in February that Nissan would not close, we want it to comply," added the worker. .

Calls to action by the coalition government have been a constant in the workers' protest on Wednesday, which has reached the Congress of Deputies, where members of the works committee have met with the parliamentary spokesmen of the Commission of Industry. The workers' representatives are calling on the Executive to intervene so that the multinational does not close the factories and leave the staff on the street after the public money subsidies received and the money that the State has invested in the ERTE during the most difficult moments of the pandemic. One of the most repeated posters on the march, in addition to 'Nissan does not close', reflected: 'Nissan leaves like a thief, after receiving a large grant'.

"We cannot negotiate with the company if it has the decision made, if it tells us that the ERE and the closings are not reversible. We still need to wait for the report of the European Commission of Nissan unions, that we do not have it and the company ignores it. "criticizes Miguel Ruiz, general secretary of Sigen-USO at Nissan.

The leaders of the CCOO unions, Unai Sordo, and UGT, Pepe Álvarez, have also asked the Government, since the demonstration, to get involved in the conflict to get the company to open negotiations and to look for alternatives that maintain activity in the factories. "The labor reform that eliminated the prior administrative authorization in collective dismissals allows situations like this, of a huge imbalance for workers," Sordo criticized. Álvarez has considered it essential that the "ERE process be paralyzed", so that a negotiation and the search for opportunities for the staff is possible.

The proclamations to "repeal the labor reform", for the facilities granted to the collective dismissal, have been mixed with "Madrid, listen, the Nissan is struggling" and a repeated "we want a future". The workers have thrown 500 euro banknotes in print and burned some of them as a sign of rejection of compensation, money in exchange for departures. "We want to work," numerous protesters insisted throughout this demonstration.

Another of the central complaints of the staff is that the company has dropped them in the reorganization of its international factories, betting on other destinations instead of Catalan plants. "We saw that there were problems, for 10 years they took products from us and took them to other places, but we could not expect such a sudden closure in which they do not want to negotiate options. There are. Since Renault could absorb us, until find interested investors ... You have to try it ", defends Carol Martín, union delegate of CCOO.

The staff asks the company for "responsibility", which they consider is also using "COVID's excuse" to leave Catalonia at full speed. "The pandemic has been a luxury for them," criticizes Martín. The coronavirus and its effects are also protagonists in many workers' speeches, for fear that in the worst case they will have to face dismissal in the midst of the pandemic crisis. "There are older workers, but with the coronavirus we are all screwed, young and old," laments one employee.


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