Further step forward for Michelin’s plan to secure French factories’ future

Michelin aims to increase the flexibility and competitiveness of its tyre factories in France, and French media outlets report that two of the unions representing the company’s La Roche-sur-Yon plant have signed the tyre maker’s ‘Skipper 360’ agreement, which aims to safeguard the facility’s future through the introduction of greater flexibility into how workers’ shifts are arranged.

Under Skipper 360, plant workers will ultimately work three out of every four Saturdays and up to 16 Sundays a year; in exchange, they will either be granted an additional 17 days annual leave or be paid double time and a half for working on Sundays. Benoit Heubert, vice-president of manufacturing for Michelin’s European truck and bus tyre business unit, explains that this new arrangement will enable plant equipment to operate around the clock when required and help the factory meet seasonal demand.

Upon the approval of Skipper 360, Michelin will initiate a €56 million investment programme in La Roche-sur-Yon that will modernise the plant and lift its capacity from 800,000 to 1.2 million tyres a year. The implementation of the Skipper 360 measures will also lead to the creation of a further 100 jobs. So far, 71 per cent of the La Roche-sur-Yon workforce has accepted the agreement.

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