After months of uncertainty, hearing the last chance: The Strasbourg Supreme Court is examining, on Wednesday, last but not least, the projects of potential buyers of the Ascoval steelworks station in Saint-Saulve (North), a folder of multiple struggles, emblematic of deindustrialisation.
The TGI Chamber of Commerce provided a new deadline 27 March, one month after the surprise withdrawal of the French-Belgian Altifort group, which had a cold shower effect for employees, now 270 after a dozen resignations and retirements.
Founded in 1975 by Vallourec and Ascoval in 2017, this steel factory for the production of special steel tubes expects a buyer from the liquidation in January 2018 of the Asco Industries Group, where the steel producer Vallourec sold 60% of the plant while maintaining 40% of the commitments.
In mid-December, the Strasbourg court ended a long strain in confirming the restoration of the plant by Altifort. However, the project failed in February, and the French-Belgian group failed to cover the 35 million euros it has taken. The Strasbourg court then gave the steel industry a new one-month delay.
The judiciary should now consider the four bids submitted by the British steel producer Bristish Steel, the Italian steel producer Calvi Networks, the Secufund Industry Fund and the regional industrialist Pascal Cochez.
Since March 27, only British Steel has submitted an improved offer, which "Highlights" and "Hold the rope" while Calvi and former Ascometal chief Franck Supplisson, who runs the SecuFund Industry Fund project, have retained their own without reviewing their copy, according to the coordinating sources.
"Industrial, it's an offer that is solid and, financially, it's also a way", told AFP a source close to the discussions while Calvi would be there "You Need More Time",
It is expected that the decision to be discussed next week and thus put an end to this soap opera has become Mark of Industrial Policy five-year-old Macron.
The proposals of British Steel and Calvi are preferred by management and trade unions. – They stand out. These are the most reliable records because they support the workforce as opposed to others and are companies.– said Natsim Bardy, CGT delegate. "They will return us for me",
On Tuesday in Paris trade union representatives handed the trustee's announcement "Advisory" which will be attached to the file. That's what it wants to be "Reasonable"– a neutral opinion on British Steel and Calvi projects, unfavorable to the other two, according to a close employee of the dossier.
According to Bardi, British Steel predicts Brexit and the carbon savings it could make with this electricity-producing steel factory as compared to blast furnaces across the Channel, while Calvi will need a steel plant to have an integrated die.
For trade unions, the hearing on Wednesday will be the last chance, as employees say "To the end", the morale undermined by the many twists in the file.
"A country called, it is very difficult, there are still traces in its memory (the defect of Altifort, ed.) Our future is always a big question", said Mr Bardy. Some have retired to find elsewhere "More stable work situation",
"Even if the decision gave a favorable outcome for British Steel or Calvi Networks, employees will always be cautious about the buyer's rise and its ability to charge the headquarters", predicts an employee close to the management.
Due to the lack of new orders, the production of a steel factory is suspended Friday, but Askoval compensates for the loss of wages caused by technical unemployment, AFP said in a source close to the direction.