Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Labor Tensions Escalate at Fabris

Workers have threatened to blow up the Fabris factory in Châtellerault if PSA and Citroën, the failed company's biggest clients, don't pony up $42,000 for each worker facing unemployment.

UPDATE: For a caustic comment on the unions in all this, see Marc Cohen.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a labor organizer in the US, I am amazed by this, and I admit, a little jealous of the leeway French workers in struggle get from the public and the authorities. I am afraid if we pulled a stunt like that stateside it would be the federal slammer for quite some time. Not that I begrudge them this admittedly extreme tactic. Why should the company discard them and move its machines with impunity?
--Nick

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Nick,
Thanks for your comment. I'm of two minds. While I believe that labor is constantly in need of means with which to combat the inherent tactical advantages of capital, I don't like the recourse to violence or threats of violence. And the general good does require in some cases that capital be allowed to reorganize its resources. What those cases are should be submitted to collective judgment and not settled by one or the other of the immediate parties to the conflict. Of course the availability of an impartial arbiter is always open to question. But I am reluctant to allow sympathy for labor's plight to lead to the judgment that whatever workers want should prevail. That said, I don't know the facts of this case.