Monaco steps in to save local Mécaplast jobs

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The government of the tiny European principality of Monaco has intervened after automotive parts supplier Mécaplast announced it would need to cut around 100 local jobs as part of a restructuring plan.

A delegation of worker representatives from the Monaco-based group met recently with the health and social affairs minister Stéphane Valeri to voice employee concerns about the threat of mass redundancies.

This followed an October demonstration by around 130 Mécaplast employees against the planned layoff of almost 40% of the 283-strong local workforce of Monaco’s fifth biggest employer. Restructuring has been blamed on a slump in European car sales in the face of the continuing economic crisis.

In a statement, the government pointed out Mécaplast management had not followed the statutory procedure to provide the workforce with sufficient information about its plan prior to a 30-day consultation period.

It recognised the seriousness of redundancy to the workers and said it would do everything possible to help those losing their jobs. But the government also said it accepted that Mécaplast did require a recovery plan to secure the group’s future.

In a move designed to help Mecaplast Monaco employees living outside the principality who lose their jobs, the government agreed to allow them to register with the Monégasque employment office to seek new work locally.

In its statement, the government also offered financial support in the form of employment assistance to help the group avoid further job cuts.

The Minister was expected to meet Mécaplast management to discuss the issues raised by the workers and to stress his wish for as many jobs as possible to be retained in Monaco. He would urge the company to “establish an effective re-employment programme for all its workers”, the ministry stated.

Mécaplast group, founded in 1955, formally opened a new €10m production plant in Zrenjanin, Serbia last April which is due to create 120 jobs by next year. The facility will initially serve the Fiat assembly plant in the Serbian city of Kragujevac.

The plastic component moulder, which had a 2011 turnover of €692m, employs in all 5,500 at other operations in France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Czech Republic, the UK, Turkey, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and the US.