24 March, 2021With solid support from IndustriALL, Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT), has succeeded in organizing the Stellantis, former Peugeot Citroën (PSA), factory in Kenitra.
The auto industry in Morocco is booming and its supply chain widening fast with the arrival of new players from across the world. With its 135,000-strong workforce, the industry has become primary export sector and plays a pivotal role in the country’s development.
The Stellantis plant in Kenitra comes out of a major investment by French auto giant PSA in recent years. Since 2019 the workforce has grown to 3,000 employees, and there are plans to make it the largest automotive operation in Morocco.
Often unions face difficulties in organizing and operating in the special economic zones (SEZ) as employers try to keep them out. UMT reached a first major breakthrough in 2012, when organizing the Renault factory in the Tanger SEZ. In both the case of Renault and that of Stellantis, the global framework agreements IndustriALL has signed with the car manufacturers, together with global solidarity, played important roles.
There was a first meeting between the PSA management in Morocco and the unions in 2018, during the IndustriALL MENA auto network meeting in Casablanca.
UMT general secretary Miloudi Moukharik says:
"This success is the result of our continuous work to strengthen union work in the relatively new industries in Morocco, including aerospace and automotive, where large numbers of multinational companies and their supply chains operate. International solidarity from IndustriALL has been important. We are prioritizing a fruitful dialogue with the company with the aim of developing a collective agreement that promotes stability and cooperation between the union and the management.”
After years of groundwork, UMT Kenitra leaders and young union leaders who have been trained within the framework of the IndustriALL youth programme, have played an active role in organizing at the factory.
At a crucial moment of wining the recognition, the new union successfully organized a general assembly with the participation of 300 workers, as more members joined the union. Trainings for the new union members are expected to start next month.
“Organizing workers at Stellantis is an important step forward and the result of many years of work with the support from union building programmes, global framework agreements and company networks.
“IndustriALL will continue to support UMT’s efforts for the establishment of a national metal federation, bringing together the auto and wiring, electronics and ICT, steel and aerospace sectors,”
says Ahmed Kamel, MENA regional secretary.
“Throughout the organizing drive in Morocco we had no doubts that PSA management would honour the fundamental rights of freedom of association,”
says IndustriALL automotive director, Georg Leutert.
Stellantis N.V. was formed in January 2021, through the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA. IndustriALL is currently in preliminary talks with the new company regarding continued transnational social dialogue and the application of fundamental labour rights.