They are the “invisible ones”, as they call themselves. A hundred employees of PEI, a cleaning company that operates mainly in several Renault facilities, have been on strike since May 3 at the Technocentre in Guyancourt, where 130 of the 2,000 people of this service provider work. According to the unions, the rate of strikers is 95% at the Technocentro, where PEI employees protest against Renault’s decision to reduce its activity, closing part of the place on Friday, for economic reasons, which is part of a brand Diamond Company plans to sell three-quarters of the Technocentre buildings.
Recalling that they are “mostly on the minimum wage hourly and part-time”, the strikers denounce in their pamphlet “a savings plan on the backs of all Technocentre service providers and Renault employees”. They demand, therefore, the maintenance of their salaries and no dismissal or transfer. “People have been suffering from partial unemployment since March 2020, the drop in wages, between 200 and 300 euros, recalls Najib Mouchtahi, a member of the office of the cleaning union FO Île-de-France, gathered during a mobilization in front of the Technocenter on May 6. The health crisis is over. […] They took us out of other problems, the economic crisis. During this economic crisis, Renault decided to reduce activity by 25% [à Guyancourt]. »
And this, therefore, with consequences for the activity of certain service providers, such as PEI, whose employees thus lose one working day a week, on Fridays. And they were presented with a fait accompli, according to Najib Mouchtahi. “Not done in the rules, we were told by staff, Thursday to Friday closing (April 21st to the 22nd, editor’s note), he says. Employees were also not officially informed with a document from the employer. On April 21st, we had some feedback, we contacted the company to find out more […]. The answer is that they were also informed late by Renault and explained to us that they asked Renault to give them time to organize themselves, but that Renault didn’t want to know anything. »
And officials and staff representatives claim to go from surprise to surprise. First, on May 2, the ban on access to all union representatives, then, on May 5, the deactivation of the badges of all PEI employees, says Najib Mouchtahi, who does not work on site. Another striker from the PEI, a unionized FO who works as a team leader in the L’Avancée building, remains incredulous: “I, my building is not closed, people circulate, visitors. I say that there are people who go to the bathroom, that they get dirty, so there must be people [pour nettoyer]. I was told, ”No, your team, you must not come on Friday.””
For Najib Mouchtahi, the risk of such a situation is that these janitors work four days a week instead of five and therefore receive four. And according to him, about thirty vacancies would be the target of layoffs. And this while the workers are already very precarious and, for some, they combine “triple employers” to survive, he emphasizes. The L’Avancée team leader confides that he has lived with “two people aged 73”, “and people who come from Saint-Denis”, but also “people with disabilities” and colleagues who “died” from Covid.
The strikers thus deplore the discrediting of a team still on the front lines during the health crisis. “Now, we can say goodbye to cleanliness, hygiene and safety because we want to cut jobs”, grieves Najib Mouchtahi. Some Renault union leaders also sympathized with the movement. FO cleaning member Île-de-France announces that the other Renault locations where PEI works – in particular Aubevoye (Eure) and Lardy (Essonne) – have the same problem and that the dispute will “spread”.
Upon request, the PEI did not respond to us before this edition was printed. For its part, Renault explained to us that “to adapt the operating costs of the facilities of the Île-de-France establishments, which are down, the Renault group decided to place some of the tertiary buildings, namely the Technocentre, and that April 22, therefore, service providers, including PEI, were notified on April 20. The group guarantees that, “given the period of notice, there will be maintenance of salaries until May 20”, and about the deactivation of the badges on Friday, makes it known that it is “following intrusions last week into confidential areas of the Technocentre”.