The Michelin Vitoria works council has already designated the date to hold the referendum in which they will vote to remain in the Intercenter Committee. According to union sources, the vote that will decide whether Vitoria leaves this body or not will take place, barring any surprise, on October 6 and 9. The unions have already asked the company to provide the means so that these are the dates on which workers can cast their votes, although Michelin has not yet responded to that request from the social side.
The Intercenter Committee is a body that brings together the union representation of all the Spanish Michelin factories with the exception of Lasarte. This forum is the one that negotiates directly with the French group the agreements that apply to all the plants in the country if the Gipuzkoa plant is ignored. Vitoria has already been outside this entity on some occasions, but it has not achieved major differences in the labor agreements reached.
However, in the vote on the last agreement, Vitoria was the only factory where the workforce rejected the labor pact. After several days with the polls open, on June 16 the votes of all the multinational’s production centers were counted and the overall result was 56% in favor of yes compared to 43% of ‘no’. In Vitoria, on the other hand, the rejection of the agreement garnered the support of 65% of the employees.
That ‘no’ from Vitoria was useless, since the Alava plant was forced to apply the new labor framework precisely because it was part of the Intercenter Committee. The unions that supported the ‘no’ -ELA, LAB, ESK and CNT- made their anger public and announced their intention to submit membership to said union body to a referendum.
That step comes now, three months after the labor pact. Along the way, several work days have been deactivated and some unions perceive a “calmer” environment among the workforce. Vitoria has also changed its factory director: César Moñux left for France at the end of June and his position was inherited by David Udakiola, responsible for the Lasarte-Oria factory until then. Before leaving, Moñux warned of the possibility that the tension experienced in Vitoria would cause a decrease in workload and employment.
Members of the works council consulted by this newspaper point out that, although the date has already been agreed, there are unions that intend to define where to place the border that makes the result of the agreement binding. «We are left to define the conditions that would be enough: if it is adding half plus one or if more is needed. We will decide later,” they say.
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