June 15, 2021

Among Bio-Rad employees, the impression of a “huge mess”

“We still don’t understand. “ Four months after the announcement ” brutal “ the closure of their factories in Roanne (Loire) and Schiltigheim (Bas-Rhin) and their relocation in 2022 to Singapore, Bio-Rad employees still find it hard to believe. This specialist in the design and manufacture of diagnostic equipment in immuno-hematology and for diabetes “Had orders all over the world. We were doing our job perfectly, everything was fine. It hurts to be kicked out like that ”, laments Thierry Vichot, methods technician and secretary of the social and economic committee (CSE) of the Roanne site.

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On Wednesday, June 9, this former member of the house, hired more than thirty years ago by Noviloire – before the company was sold to Diamed, then bought in 2007 by the American biotechnology group Bio-Rad -, came, with nearly 70 other employees, express its anger in front of the French headquarters of the company in Marne-la-Coquette (Hauts-de-Seine). “We are resigned, the two sites will close, but we simply want to obtain decent starting conditions », explains Christian Berry, technician.

The 230 employees (116 in Roanne and 114 in Schiltigheim) are notably demanding more generous financial compensation, “At the height of a growing group which makes 2.5 billion dollars in turnover”, slips Franck Gaudier, stock manager, as well as the implementation of an early departure system. But a few days before the end of the negotiations, scheduled for June 15, the dialogue remains tense, despite some “Meager advances” on severance pay.

“Stay competitive”

“Our proposals are nevertheless reasonable, it is disappointing”, regrets Julien Coublé, quality control technician. Another disillusionment for the employees, still shocked by the way in which they learned of their dismissal. “They installed giant screens, summoned us, and announced in a jumble in a presentation the very good results of the company and our layoffs. A month earlier, they gave us company T-shirts and called us heroes for our work during the health crisis ”, says one of them.

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The Bio-Rad group, which also provides for around fifty layoffs at its French headquarters, explains for its part “Transform some of its activities in order to remain competitive”. A speech that goes badly. “Our order book is full, they even recently asked us to work overtime. But they just see that they make 15% profit with our machines, where they will make 25% by relocating to Singapore ”, analyzes an employee.

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