Striking French workers threaten to poison River Seine
Workers at a near-bankrupt French trucking company are threatening to pour toxic waste into the River Seine unless laid-off staff are promised a bigger settlement.Rouen - Workers at a near-bankrupt French trucking company are threatening to pour toxic waste into the River Seine unless laid-off staff are promised a bigger settlement.
Some 60 striking workers from a transport depot near the northwestern city Rouen want their employer, Serta, to pledge a settlement of 15,000 euros (21,000-dollars) over and above the legal minimum for each sacked worker.
If it refuses, they are threatening to pour 8,000 litres of fuel additives into the Cailly, a tributary of the Seine.
"This is our only weapon. There is no ultimatum and we are not about to carry out the threat, but we are demanding extra compensation of 15,000 euros per worker," CFDT unionist Jean-Pierre Villemin said Thursday.
Serta employs 150 people across France, who will all be out of a job if the company is placed in liquidation by a commercial court next week.
Seventy-five will be sacked if the court, which met Thursday to examine the case, approves one of two buy-out offers currently on the table. The court's decision is due next Thursday.
"We are making this threat because we are dealing with people who are deaf and blind," charged Villemin.
Workers at a bankrupt French car parts threatened last month to blow up their plant unless they were promised a bigger pay-off. Though they finally dropped the threat, it sparked a wave of copycat incidents.
The blast threats follow a wave of "bossnappings" in which French workers took their managers hostage as bargaining chips in negotiations over factory closures.