” Stopping ovens is never good. Grégory Leblond, from the Sud union, sums up the concerns of the almost 5,000 employees of Arc France. Ten days ago, management announced partial unemployment measures for the 1,600 employees dedicated to support functions. On Wednesday, we learned that employees dedicated to production would also soon be affected. The management is not yet able to say how many days the employees will have to be unemployed.
No other choice possible
Arc France, literally asphyxiated by the price of gas, which has become exorbitant, must drastically reduce its production. Of the nine ovens still in operation, it will stop two to redo them, the H and J ovens. The P and T ovens do not need to be redone. But they will also be arrested. ” We are forced to reduce productionexplains Guillaume Rabel-Suquet, the director of human resources. Given the price of gas, it becomes impossible to cover our costs. The gas bill of 19 million in 2021 has quadrupled this year, and is expected to reach 220 million next year, if the company continues to operate at full capacity. A madness.
“People prefer basic necessities to tableware. And they also save, for fear of the future”
Arc France is regularly helped by the State and local authorities local. The group came out of a good first half, but its cash flow remains fragile, and it does not have the means to absorb such charges. And increasing selling prices is not an option, while the order book has fallen by 25% ” The market is not buoyant, it is contracting, particularly that of individuals. That’s what our big customers tell us. People prefer basic necessities to tableware. And they also save, for fear of the future. »
The end of oven D
This huge brake is temporary, although the company announces that it will review its long-term industrial and commercial strategy. ” We’re going to produce a little less, and instead focus on high-margin items. We are no longer going to try to use all our means of production. This is how oven D, located on the lower part of the site, near Intermarché, will be shut down definitively at the start of the year. The 320 people working in furnace D will be redeployed. Thus, Arc will seriously slow down the pace of hiring in the coming months and reduce the use of temporary workers. It’s time for constrained decline, hoping it won’t last.
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