May 28, 2020. The black clouds spit out by a mountain of burning tires surround the Nissan logo , located in the Zona Franca factory in Barcelona. The 2,000 workers employed in its assembly lines await an announcement that has been sensed for months and that is confirmed that morning: Nissan closes its plants in Catalonia .
A year later, those same workers go back on strike to protest the lack of industrial alternatives that give continuity to most of the 20,000 jobs , between direct and indirect, that the Japanese automotive giant had until now.
The unions have called for partial work stoppages and this Friday morning the workers of the plant have once again cut the Ronda Litoral to demand that the Administration move. There is a quorum between the different centrals that the 17 projects that, for the moment, are included in the reindustrialization table do not present sufficient guarantees for a significant part of the jobs to continue.
This body, made up of the Ministry of Industry, the Departament d’Empresa, Nissan, the Consorci de la Zona Franca and the unions themselves, is in charge of looking for potential substitutes to take over the land and install their industrial projects.
This was one of the consensuses closed in the agreement for the closure of Nissan, which was not signed until after 90 days of strike and protests by the workforce of the Zona Franca, Sant Andreu de la Barca and Montcada i Reixac factories. The document also set a deadline for the closing: December 31, 2021 .
There are six months until that date and until now the road has been plagued with strikes between subcontractors, fights between consultants to advise that reindustrialization commission, leaks about possible substitutes and three company ‘councilors’ who have been passing the folder of a conflict that is still far from being resolved. Social peace has been conspicuous by its absence during all this time.
“Without alternatives”, they denounce
Candidates so far have not been lacking in the Free Zone land, next to the port of Barcelona and with logistical appeal. Names such as Inzile , a manufacturer of Swedish origin specialized in electric trucks, LG Chem , a South Korean specialist in electric batteries, Silence motorcycles or the French Schneider Electric have been sounding in recent months.
Some, like the latter, have been falling over time and as of June 1, the commission must begin to select, among the 17 projects officially presented, those that meet the requirements agreed upon by the parties.
The new ‘minister’ of the company, Roger Torrent (the third in a year), has decided to inaugurate his mandate by visiting what was previously the other – now it is the only – great automobile engine in Catalonia: Seat .
The leader visits the facilities of the future of the car in Catalonia, while Nissan workers demand that, under his direction, the Generalitat is more active in the search for alternatives. Until now, the union criticisms, not only against the Generalitat, but shared with the State and Nissan itself, have denounced the “passivity” of these actors.
Six months after the final closure, the workers have announced more mobilizations until they are notified of a guarantee solution with the job. “Next week I have meetings with the agents involved and I hope that in the next few days, in the next few weeks, we will obviously be able to give news,” Torrent promised, this Friday at the doors of Seat.