Aveyron: visiting the Bosch factory, Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher was heckled by demonstrators

Eventful ministerial visit to Aveyron. The Deputy Minister for Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher was heckled on Friday March 19 by employees of the Bosch plant in Rodez after a meeting devoted to the future of the site where management wants to cut 750 jobs. “I’m on your side, I want to talk to you eye to eye”, launched the minister without succeeding in calming the whistles and the protests of 1,200 demonstrators, according to the unions, 800 according to the police, came to express their concerns.

“Today, the commitments were not satisfactory”, she admitted facing employees who believe that the government has let go of the diesel industry. On March 5, the German automotive supplier announced that it was going to cut, by 2025, some 750 jobs in its Aveyron factory which produces injectors for diesel engines. The site would thus retain only 500 employees. “The proposed project is not sufficiently substantiated, not sufficiently credible”, said the minister after meeting the management of Bosch and its CEO France, Heiko Carrie, in the presence of employee representatives.

According to Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the equipment manufacturer expressed “several avenues of diversification”, the first by repatriating “elements entrusted to other sites”, the second “by making Rodez the mother plant for hydrogen processes for refrigerated trucks”, or by implanting “an incubator for other manufacturers”.

She asserted her will “to switch to commando mode” by organizing a monthly follow-up of the reorganization of the factory, committing to return “within three months”. The minister also participated in a second meeting with the monitoring committee and local elected officials, in particular the president of the Occitanie region, Carole Delga, and the mayor of Rodez, Christian Teyssèdre. “The meeting was very helpful in setting a course”, said the city councilor, regretting, however, that Bosch management did not respond “for three years” the diversification wishes desired by local elected officials.

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