Sony Workers Want Better Bonus Before Factory is Sold

Sony Workers Want Better Bonus Before Factory is Sold

The factory in France is due to be taken over by Cordon Electronics next year, with a loss of up to 190 jobs.

RIBEAUVILLE --  Workers blockaded Sony's last French plant, vowing to keep it closed for at least two days in order to obtain better bonuses from the Japanese electronics giant before the factory is sold off.

Unions said activity at the plant in France's northeastern Alsace region had been brought to a halt as about 300 of the factory's 516 employees had blocked the entrance to the plant.

The employees are protesting Sony's offer of a separation bonus of 2,000 euros (US$2,600), calling for a payment of 1,500 euros per year worked, with those over age 45 or 20 years of service to be paid at higher rates.

Union representatives said the strike would continue to at least Thursday, when talks with management were due to resume.

The factory in the Alsace city of Ribeauville is due to be taken over by the French company Cordon Electronics next year, with up to some 190 jobs set to be lost.

Sony has just crept back to profitability after four years in the red, but that was mainly due to a restructuring that includes thousands of layoffs and asset sales, including its Manhattan headquarters for more than $1.0 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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