“We did not manage to convince the Renault group to help start up the project; moreover, we did not manage to secure the total financing either” for the reindustrialization of the former site of the Société aveyronnaise de metallurgie (SAM) in Viviez, indicates MH.
“The MH Industries group is therefore forced today to confirm the abandonment of this project”, continues the management of this company based in the neighboring Lot, also citing the influence of the international situation on prices.
SAM, a company based on the heights of Decazeville, had some 330 employees when it was placed in receivership in December 2019.
Its fate was definitively sealed on November 26, when the Toulouse commercial court declared the cessation of its activity, after Renault’s refusal to support the only takeover project.
The employees then occupied the Viviez factory for 154 days, before obtaining, under the aegis of the prefect of Aveyron, guarantees to avoid the sale of the machines by judicial agents.
If she “welcomes the work done by the MH Industries group on the foundry activity project”, the president of the Occitanie region Carole Delga “regrets”, in a press release, “that this project cannot succeed due to the lack of commitment of two essential partners: Renault and the State”.
The Region was committed to this emblematic file, in particular by paying 1.2 million euros “for the financial consolidation of the MH group and the realization of feasibility studies”, she specifies.
For David Gistau, CGT representative of former SAM employees, Renault and the State are indeed the two responsible for the failure of this project. “We are revolted, scandalized, but at the same time we are not surprised, because Renault’s strategy, which consists of liquidating all French foundries, continues,” he told AFP.
David Gistau is also angry with the state: “Mr. Macron should come to Decazeville to see if it is enough to cross the street to find work”, he says. It also gives an appointment at the start of the school year, in September, for “new forms of action” in this former disaster-stricken mining area.
At the end of June, MH Industries had obtained an additional month to “continue discussions” and obtain from Renault “a commitment to carry out the first orders in order to make the offer more reliable”, according to the Region.
These negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful, leading its president Matthieu Hede to throw in the towel.
In addition, 283 former employees of SAM attacked Renault on June 21 before the industrial tribunal and demanded the payment of 15 million euros in compensation, according to their lawyer.