Unions call for French government to intervene in ST pay dispute

November 29, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
Unions call for French government to intervene in ST pay dispute
Three unions (CAD, CFDT and CGT) with members employed by STMicroelectronics have called for the French government to intervene in a dispute over pay.

The unions have organized a series of one-day strikes recently, notably at the wafer fab in Crolles and a test facility in Grenoble, protesting at the lack of a pay rise for the entire workforce, despite a return to profitability by ST. The CAD union is calling for a minimum salary increase of €100 for all workers.

The unions have now written an open letter to Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, pointing out that the French state is a key shareholder in STMicroelectronics that provides hefty subsidies and lets ST prepare accounts to show little profit in France thereby minimizing its tax bill. The additional point is made that letting the company declare poor results in France represents around €100 million cut in tax on profits and has the consequence of depriving employees of profit sharing.

The letter states that despite this state support: "…our company does not behave, in exchange, in a correct, even exemplary, social way." The letter goes on to state that in addition to setting a zero percent general policy on wage increases, ST has raised the possibility of relocating the test activities.

"Nothing justifies a blank year in 2020. It is legitimate now to obtain a salary policy in line with the good results of the company," the letter asserts.

For the 3Q20 ST reported a net income of $242 million on revenues of $2.67 billion, a sequential sales increase of 27.8 percent.

As a footnote the union points out that raising wages not only helps employees but is also useful for the country as a whole as it helps to revive the economy.

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