The Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone has decided: it will close its Béthune plant in 2021. The announcement of this decision has caused great indignation in France and plunged its employees into anxiety. Céline and Jérôme intended to make their entire career there… Extract from the magazine “1:15 pm on Sunday” of October 11, 2020.
To safeguard its competitiveness in Europe, affirms the Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone, it is the Béthune plant, in Pas-de-Calais, in the Hauts-de-France region, specializing in the production of tires for small vehicles, which is due to close in 2021. The 863 employees learned the news on the morning of Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
“I joined Bridgestone in 2003 as a temp. In 2005, I got hired ”, said Jérôme to the magazine “1:15 pm on Sunday” (replay). His wife Céline says: “My grandfather opened in 1961, my father was hired in 1980 and I came back in 2008 with the intention of making my career there. My daughter said to me: ‘Me too, later I will work at Bridgestone and I will be a mechanic like you.’ But for her, that will not be possible. ”
“My factory like my house”
“This Wednesday, I wake up normally and I learn on social networks that Bridgestone is closing its doors and leaving 863 workers on the doorstep… It’s horrendous news, said the mechanic. Since I was five years old, I always told my dad that I was going to work at Bridgestone, I succeeded, and now everything is falling apart. It’s not just a job, it’s a family. This has always been the motto since the opening: ‘The big Bridgestone family: my factory like my home.’ We have the image of Bridgestone, it’s not nothing. Until the end, I will be proud. ”
Is this end programmed by the Japanese manufacturer already in mind? “We are struggling to realize and we are still in shock from the announcement”, says Céline. Her husband adds: “As they say: Goodyear, it didn’t work, Continental closed… Why would it work?” The closure would be a disaster for this couple: “If we both find ourselves on the doorstep, unemployed, we wonder how it will be for the mutual, because we have children. And we have credits in progress: the house, the cars, the heat pump… We were supposed to spend our careers there ”, explains Céline.
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