SCHNEIDER WANTS TO CONTINUE THE DIALOGUE WITH UPS EMPLOYEES; MEETING TO BE HELD TODAY IN FRANCE
Groupe Schneider's goal in selling its uninterruptible power supply (UPS) activity is to assure the activity's future. The plan is not to dismantle the activity, but to make sure that UPS has the resources to grow in a market that is becoming more and more separate from that of Schneider Electric's other activities.
From the beginning, the company has taken very seriously what it considers to be Schneider's responsibilities to employees. The planned change should have no effect on employment or social conditions for UPS employees. On the contrary, the company has made sure that guarantees for employees were included in the project.
The company has consulted with employee representatives since April 3. At their request, Schneider is paying for outside experts to review documents. At the same time, Schneider management has tried to explain the strategy behind the decision on UPS through meetings with employees and managers of the UPS activity, in order to provide a forum for discussion and exchange.
Over the past weeks, some employees have engaged in actions of protest that have gone beyond legal limits. They have occupied some sites and have interfered with company activities, as well as with the activities of one of its suppliers.
Schneider has taken legal action in response to these actions. The company stresses that Schneider does not question the employees' right to strike, but that it must fulfil its own responsibilities to customers and suppliers, as well as to employees throughout the company who have chosen to continue their work and their responsibilities to the company.
Today, as it has since the beginning of this project, Schneider wants to continue the dialogue with employees. For that reason, the company has agreed to a French court's proposal to select a mediator, under the condition that all sites be completely open to access starting Monday afternoon. This mediator, appointed by the Tribunal de Grand Instance (Large Claims Court) of Grenoble and accepted by both parties, will not take action on the issue under discussion. The mediator's role will be to facilitate discussion and the dialogue that Schneider sincerely wants.
The third meeting of the CCE (Extraordinary works council) will take place as planned, April 29 at Rueil-Malmaison, France.