France has seen different forms of social discontent in the past week: Two bossnappings at Siemens Lyon, the occupation of premises at ST-Ericsson Caen and a letter to the press at Wipro-NewLogic Sophia Antipolis.
Two managers bossnapped at Siemens Lyon
On Tuesday (March 2), workers at Siemens' site in Saint-Chamond, near Lyon, freed two managers they had detained in their offices overnight. They said they were willing to reopen discussions on planned redundancies and compensation payments.
The two managers were the head of the plant's administration and finance department as well as the head of human resources.
France's Industry Minister Christian Estrosi severely condemned the detentions. He declared: "I refuse violence, especially since a restructuring plan is being negotiated, and we have met Siemens' workers at my office to explore future solutions to revitalize the labor pool."
This incident is the latest of a long list of "bossnappings" in French subsidiaries of international groups, including Molex and Sony and 3M.
Wipro-NewLogic workers condemn Wipro's growth
On March 4, in an open letter to the press, employees of Wipro-NewLogic's R&D center in Sophia Antipolis, France, who chose to remain anonymous, denounced Wipro's $1 billion profit and $6 billion sales for the year 2009. The move is part of a vast struggle against Wipro's decision to cease all of its semiconductor activities in France and close its site in Sophia Antipolis.
The letter also indicated that the group is massively hiring in India, including 4,800 employments in the fourth quarter of 2009, while it continues to lay off employees in Sophia Antipolis. About three fourth of the employees received their letter of redundancy in November, and the second wave has been announced, workers representatives noted.
So far, the letter further explained, "fifteen jobs have been created via the launch of two spinoffs, very few ex-employees have found a new job, and only one person could be relocated inside the group."
Wipro-NewLogic development center in Sophia Antipolis employs 61 engineers focused on developing Bluetooth IP and WLAN IP. The center also offers design services for digital, analog, mixed-signal and RF-based chip designs.
NewLogic Sophia Antipolis opened in the technology park of Sophia Antipolis in November 1999 as a subsidiary of NewLogic AG, based in Lustenau, Austria. It was founded in 1999 by a group of former VLSI Technology engineers.
In December 2005, Wipro Technologies acquired NewLogic in an all cash deal. Under the terms of the agreement, Wipro paid about Rs.253.94 crores (47 million euros) to acquire hundred percent stake in privately held NewLogic.
Following the purchase, Wipro-NewLogic continued to develop products (Bluetooth 2.0 then 2.1-EDR, WLAN 802.11n).