- 1 An “alarming climate” for several months
- 2 A “rather limited” impact on the Lorient site
- 3 Fears for the future
The Australia’s decision to cancel contracts with France for the delivery of conventional submarines is “a disappointment”, regrets Bruno Le Nezet (CGT Naval Group), contacted this Thursday. He recalls that “armaments contracts are not commercial but political”. However, he assures us that the Australian decision is ultimately “only a half-surprise”: “It has been months since there was an alarming climate. We could tell there was something wrong. This sovereign decision was not so unexpected, even if Naval group acted as if everything was going for the best ”. On the side of the CFDT, Stevan Le Ruyet speaks of “astonishment” coupled with a “feeling of waste”.
The impact in Lorient would be rather limited, according to several sources. “Here, around fifty people are working on these programs,” says Stevan Le Ruyet. To which should be added people based in Australia. For Bruno Le Nezet, a total of a hundred Lorientais could be concerned. “10%, out of a thousand people nationwide”. For the CGT, all these personnel will have to “find a reclassification within their company of origin. It is not up to the employees to pay the bill ”. According to Naval Group management, only 30 people would be affected.
“We are asking that all national programs be repatriated to France”. For the elected CGT, “there is work” on condition that we repatriate everything that is outsourced, both in studies and in production. He mentions, for example, “the programs of the French Navy, as well as the MCMV export contract entrusted to Kership and subcontracted to Piriou, which sends seven ship hulls to Poland. While knowing that the start of machining of the first boat manufactured in Poland is scheduled for 2023, just when production in Lorient collapses… ”
Bruno Le Nezet is sounding the alarm: if nothing changes, “there will be no more work for studies in mid-2022, there will be no more work in production mid-2023”. For him, we must stop betting everything on export. The Australian decision “shakes up, sows doubt and reminds us that now, in the world after, everything is possible geopolitically and therefore commercially”, notes Stevan Le Ruyet. “This weakens on the other hand a load plan from Lorient which was not overabundant for 2022 and following years”.