Saturday, May 13, 2017

Whirlpool ruins lives

Parts of an article, link at end:

...Whirlpool plant in Amiens [France] as “the best example” of how foreign companies in France are shifting production to low-income countries, leaving French workers “high and dry”.

Companies like Whirlpool find it cheaper to shift production to Poland since Polish workers earn less than their French counterparts...

"My colleagues are sad," confirms Jean-Philippe, a Whirlpool worker arriving for the afternoon shift. At 59, he will be entitled to his retirement benefits: "In a way, I got lucky,” he whispers.

Sacrifices included working Saturdays, renouncing overtime benefits and pay hikes for years. "We did everything we could to keep the plant going and we’re ending up on the streets while the company is making profits."

The Michigan-based Whirlpool Corporation is a Fortune 500 company, with an annual revenue of approximately $21 billion. In 2016, the company posted a profit of €850 million.

"You know, my eldest daughter did her internship here and when she saw what it was like to work on the assembly line, she asked me how I had been able to do that for so many years. We have to ask permission to go pee,” says the single mother of two girls.

Anne would like to see the sale of Whirlpool products banned in France: "If you cannot make them in France, I do not see why you should sell them here. It’s logical, isn’t it?"

...a worker earns an average of 1,500 euros in France. In Poland, it’s around 400 to 500 euros, [Whirlpool] can hire three of them for the cost of one French worker.

Five children, one house loan, and two less wages in 2018. They are "a Prima couple”, they explain. “Looking for one job is difficult, forget two."