The social decision will be finalized by January 28

A demonstration to support employees of the Blanquefort Ford plant was held Saturday in Bordeaux. - MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP

The administration announced on Friday that it had until January 28 to approve or not the "job protection plan" submitted by Ford for its plant to 850 jobs Blanquefort in Gironde, the US automaker wants to close.

A file finally complete

The Regional Direction of the companies of the competition of the consumption of work and employment (Direccte) of New-Aquitaine had declared on Monday the file of Ford incomplete. According to a statement from the Direccte, Ford provided the additional elements the same day and the Direccte "now has 21 days from January 7 to conduct the investigation of the case and make a decision. "

In mid-December, Ford had refused an offer to take over the gearbox plant formulated by the French-Belgian company Punch-Powerglide, supported by the state and unions, who accepted less favorable working conditions. The American manufacturer had then filed its social plan on December 21. Ford's decision provoked a general outcry, up to the President of the Republic who had judged the attitude of the builder "hostile and unacceptable".

Unions urge Punch to "further consolidate its offer"

Since then, the Minister of Economy Bruno Le Maire assured that "the discussions continued" to convince Ford not to close its factory and that the state remained ready to buy it to resell it to the buyer Punch, which he considers the offer of recovery "solid industrially". The unions have welcomed this Friday the new deadline communicated by the Direccte as an opportunity for Punch to "further consolidate its offer." A meeting between representatives of the inter-union and Punch-Powerglide is scheduled for late January, according to union sources.

Thursday, Ford has announced a major reorganization of its activities in Europe, which will result in job cuts, which the manufacturer has not quantified, in order to boost competitiveness deemed insufficient.