Sunday, August 14

Nissan’s imminent shutdown precipitates an ere of 90 layoffs at one of its suppliers

  • The firm specialized in automotive components Gestamp faces the final stretch of a file in the Free Trade Zone

The firm specialized in automotive components Gestamp faces the final stretch of an employment regulation file (ERE) in one of its subsidiaries, with which it intends to lay off 90 workers. The imminent closure of Nissan has precipitated the collective layoff, as the affected factory works mainly for the Japanese manufacturer. The file was registered on November 12, as confirmed by the Department of Labor, the company and the unions. The negotiation process has two weeks of consultation period left, in which the unions press to settle the issue without traumatic exits and relocate a large part of those affected in other plants of the group in Catalonia.

The next December 31st Nissan will definitively close down its Zona Franca, Sant Andreu and Montcada i Reixac plants and will terminate 2,500 employees. Some will retire early and others are waiting for the reindustrialization project (or projects) for the three plants to be completed. An outcome that has been poisoned in recent days, with the long Great Wall Motors (GWM), the plan of choice for Administration, Nissan and the unions. While waiting for the final decision, Nissan’s suppliers are still making their decisions and adapting their structures. The last has been the multinational Gestamp, specifically in its subsidiary Gestamp Esmar SA: of the 180 workers on the payroll, the management has registered a file to settle 90. The turnover of this subsidiary has fallen by more than 30% since the covid began, proof of this is that it is listed as one of the beneficiary companies of a covid help from 199.340 euros of those distributed by the Generalitat.

The affected factory is a few meters from the Free Trade Zone and, according to union sources, four out of every 10 products they manufacture are aimed at the Nissan brand. They also serve Volvo’s truck division and select Volkswagen high-end brands, but their main customer so far is the Japanese. The negotiations last two weeks and, for now, the management has accepted a slight reduction from 90 to 85 layoffs. Insufficient for the unions, which threaten a day of strike next December 10 and go on indefinite strike if the consultation period ends without agreement on December 13.

Union sources explain that their demands are early retirement from 55 years of age and with a guarantee of 85% of the salary until retirement. And, according to those same sources, the company offers early retirement from 58 years of age and with a guarantee of 80% of the salary. The other leg of the negotiations is to close a guarantee of continuity in the future, since the plants want to shield themselves in case the management tries a two-stage closure of the plant. Gestamp, when asked by EL PERIÓDICO, has declined to assess the state of the negotiations.

More than 50 years of history

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The factory affected by the layoffs has been operating in the Free Trade Zone for more than 50 years. Before it was bought by Gestamp, it operated under the name of ‘Martinez Stamps‘, a name that has partially endured after the change of ownership (hence Gestamp Esmar). Gestamp is an international group with Spanish capital, with a presence in more than 20 countries and owns five more work centers -Free Zone- in Catalonia.

The wave of eres in Catalonia has decreased in intensity in recent months, which does not detract from the statistics accumulated so far this year. A total of 10,674 people they have been laid off during the first 10 months of 2021, the worst figure since 2012; according to data from the Department of Treball. The industry It is one of the sectors most affected in the balance of this year. Despite the fact that of the total employed, its weight represents close to 20%; half of those laid off in ere during 2021 worked in the industry.

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