Not a week or so without a demonstration. Since the Finnish telecoms group announced on June 22 the elimination of 1,200 jobs in France, Nokia employees have not stopped mobilizing. After their colleagues from Lannion (Côtes-d'Armor) who hung on Tuesday, September 8, 402 wooden silhouettes on the gates of their site to symbolize "social breakdown", the employees of Nozay demonstrated this Thursday morning once again. More than 500 people (1,000 according to the inter-union) took part in the procession which marched through the streets of the town.
This is the first time that Nokia employees have crossed the town where their company is located. Until now, the gatherings were held in front of the site on the outskirts of Nozay. As this new plan provides for the amputation of a third of the workforce at the Paris-Saclay site (831 jobs cut out of the 2,895 current jobs at Nozay, particularly in research and development), employees know they can count on local support.
"All the inhabitants will be at their windows to applaud and encourage us," predict the union representatives of the CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT and CFTC as they walk the hundred meters that separate their site from the center of Nozay. By chanting their slogans "Nokia, your plan, we don't want it", "Nokia betrayal", "no to the dismantling of telecoms in France", translated into English and even Finnish on some banners. A few residents come out to observe the procession or to film and take pictures, but the majority are absent or remain hidden.
Two residents, however, come out to applaud the demonstrators. One of them is a former Nokia employee. "I left two years ago, I was fed up with the pressure that the group exerts constantly, testifies this former employee, unemployed since. Even if the site is quite partitioned from the town, many residents feel concerned by this new social plan. "
“By force, nothing will remain on this site. "
A few streets further on, once the procession has moved away, some neighbors comment: “Another social plan over there. Over 800 job cuts just for Nozay, that's really huge. We understand why they are protesting. By force, nothing will remain on this site. "
In the city center too we sympathize. “Even if Nokia employees represent only a small part of our clientele, we can only deplore these new job cuts,” says a shopkeeper. Having such an important site in telecoms, particularly in research and development of 5G, is necessarily attractive for the region. "
Didier Perrier, the mayor (without label), confirms. “Nokia, formerly Alcatel-Lucent, is a city within a city, recalls the elected official. The employees have everything on site. A few years ago, when I was sales assistant, we tried to develop a partnership between the site and the local traders. Since then, a concierge has opened but which does not work with the city's dry cleaners. This does not prevent the municipality from fully supporting the employees. Some of our families have moved here because they work on the site. "
Support from local elected officials
On July 20, the municipal council voted a motion of support. “Nokia is a considerable job pool for Paris-Saclay,” continues Didier Perrier. With Dominique Fontenaille ( Editor's note: DVD mayor of Villebon-sur-Yvette and in charge of employment at the Paris-Saclay agglomeration community ) we offered to meet with the inter-union, which is somewhat awaiting information from the group's management. We want to show them we're here. "
Nozay and Paris-Saclay have already proven their attachment to the telecoms site, transformed in the days of Alcatel-Lucent into a “city of innovation”, with more than 5,000 employees, ie as many as the number of inhabitants in the town: more than shuttle passages negotiated in 2019, the realization of a road development for a more secure service …
“We also have beautiful greenways that Nokia employees appreciate, for walking or jogging, adds Didier Perrier. And when they are fed up with their canteen, some come to buy sandwiches in our bakeries, have lunch in our café… We can only share their concerns. "