28 May, 2020Nissan has today announced the closure of three factories in Barcelona, with the loss of 3,000 jobs and a further 20,000 jobs in the supply chain.
Nissan previously announced a global restructuring plan that would affect more than 12,000 jobs globally. So far, 4,000 workers have been laid off, 600 in Spain. The unions in Spain, as well as at European level, have been in dialogue with the company and have presented alternative plans.
The Barcelona plants at Zona Franca, Montcada and Sant Andreu de la Barca shut during the Coronavirus lockdown. After reopening on 4 May, they were almost immediately hit by strike action. Unions took indefinite strike action to protest the failure of the company to confirm the future of the site.
Nissan today announced a global restructuring plan that affects 20 per cent of its production capacity. The closure of the Barcelona factories is part of that restructuring plan. The closures are part of a strategy by the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance which will restructure management geographically, leaving Europe under the leadership of Renault.
The IndustriALL Global Union affiliates representing the Nissan workers, the Federación de Industria de USO, UGT Federacíon de Industria, Construccíon y Agro and CC.OO de Industria, question the wisdom of this strategy.
The unions point out that in Europe there is a firm commitment to a New Green Deal, with a direct injection of one hundred billion euros and a private contribution of 250,000 million more. A very important part will go to sustainable mobility. They feel that Nissan is missing an opportunity to get support for a shift towards electric vehicles, smart driving and shared mobility.
The unions say that if the Alliance wants to lead the automotive sector, it must lead in the development of new technologies, their production processes and the strategy for the future of mobility, especially in large metropolitan areas. It is a serious mistake to leave Barcelona, the technological hub of southern Europe.
After the announcement, IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches sent a video message in support of the Barcelona workers, saying:
“It is unacceptable that a company takes advantage of a moment of pandemic to restructure. The workers’ committee put together a number of alternatives, the European Union provided resources in the Green New Deal, a plan that could be used for electric vehicles. The company nevertheless decided to restructure and place the burden of this crisis on the shoulder of the workers.
IndustriALL will keep in contact with affiliated unions with members at Nissan worldwide to mobilize international solidarity to affiliates in Spain.