Nearly 2,000 people rallied in the French city of Belfort on Saturday, to oppose industrial giant General Electric’s plan to cut jobs at the local gas plant, which employs nearly 4,000 people.
Protesters marched under the rain towards GE headquarters, singing slogans and carrying a fake coffin of French President Emmanuel Macron. The leader of La France Insoumise Jean Luc Melenchon was also seen taking part in the protest.
General Confederation of Labour (CGT) union marched separately, in open clash with the different approach adopted by CFE/CGC-Sud unions while negotiating a new agreement with General Electric.
The three unions later reached the firm’s industrial plant, where workers have left on strike for the past two weeks.
“I think we need to fight very hard and we cannot trust in GE commitments, which has never honoured them in the past,” said a woman participating in the rally.
General Electric’s latest cuts are part of a wave of European layoffs, as the industrial giant attempts at reducing losses in its power generation business. In 2015 the company announced 6,500 job cuts across Europe, and two years later it revealed a further 12,000 cuts.