The Navarre Florette agri-food group and the works council of its plant in Iniesta (Cuenca) have concluded this Friday with an agreement the consultation period on the ERE raised by the company to dismiss the entire workforce and close the production center in La Manchuela Cuenca.
This Wednesday, in the third meeting held by the management of the company and the representatives of its workers, with the advice of their unions CCOO-Industria and FICA-UGT, both parties reached a preliminary agreement on the conditions for the execution of the ERE, which the works council submitted the endorsement of the workforce, as reported by the CCOO union in a press release.
The workers’ assembly overwhelmingly supported him, with only three votes against the total of 158 people affected. Florette will compensate them with 30 days of salary per year of seniority, without limits; and will give the entire workforce paid leave from this Sunday until the formalization of the layoffs and the closure of the plant, which the company will dismantle in the coming weeks and expects to leave definitively on October 24.
The other key to the agreement refers to the conditions for the relocation of workers who wish to do so in other production centers of the Florette group.
Those who choose to join the plant located in the Toledo town of Noblejas -200 kilometers from Iniesta-, will maintain their contracts, since this center and that of Iniesta are attached to the same company, Vegetables of La Mancha; and they will receive compensation for geographical mobility equivalent to three months’ salary.
Those who choose to join other group companies will receive 20 days / year as compensation for the termination of their contract with Vegetales de la Mancha. In the event that they do not adapt to the new destination or that for any reason they decide to terminate their employment relationship with the new group company, they will collect the remainder of the agreed compensation for the non-relocated workers.
It’s a good deal. Very sour and sad, but satisfying to the extent that it can be. Once we had to assume that the company was going to close yes or yes and that it was leaving us all on the street, we positively value the conditions that we have finally been able to achieve “, indicate the president of the works council, Marisa Merino, from CCOO; and Miguel Hernández de Fez, from UGT, also a member of the workers’ representative body.
“When Florette announced the closure and the layoffs, the world fell apart. We have to deeply thank the solidarity, affection and mobilization of all Iniesta. The support of the city council, the county council and the Board. The attention of the media … without all this we would have collapsed, life looks very black when the future is unemployment.
“And we have to highlight the intervention and involvement of the unions, which have turned to us. Their work in managing the conflict and at the negotiating table has been decisive, thanks to them we have reached the final agreement, much better than we expected at the beginning.
The trade unionists who have piloted the negotiations, Juan Cuevas, secretary of Industrial Policy of CCOO-Industria CLM, Carlos Duque, president of FICA-UGT CLM, and Pedro Lucas, responsible for CCOO-Industria in Cuenca, emphasize that “the agreement has been quickly, the consultation period has only required three meetings, four with today’s for the signature; in total it has barely lasted a week. And yes: it must be classified as positive, since it has had the practically unanimous support of the workers, who have valued the agreed conditions.
“Unfortunately, from the first moment Florette refused to consider alternatives to sustain the activity and employment in Iniesta, where he arrived fifteen years ago but has always been passing through, in a rented warehouse.”
“The decision to invest in other territories and abandon the Iniesta plant was made by Florette a long time ago. And it has taken advantage of the facilities of the PP labor reform to carry out its plans – the ERE and the closure – without the possibility of stopping them.
«We must assess the agreement with which this ERE is closed. It substantially improves the legal minimums and, in some way, allows affected people to look at the future with a little peace of mind, at least in the short term. But the blow for Iniesta and his region is brutal. These types of business decisions, which are imposed without control and often without a real justification, show the need to reverse the labor reform ”, indicate for their part María José Mesas, secretary general of the CCOO of Cuenca and Vicente Martínez, his counterpart from the UGT .
“It is now time for all of us to get involved, social agents and public administrations, to find a way to replace the industrial fabric lost in Iniesta with the departure of Florette and to generate new employment options,” the note concludes.