Abengoa’s workforce is not willing to stop fighting for their jobs. Last Wednesday, those responsible for the company, through its subsidiary Abenewco1, presented to the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) the request for temporary support charged to the Solvency Fund for Strategic Companies for a total amount of 249 million euros, as well as an agreement with the US fund TerraMar. Two days later, Abengoa workers marched through the streets of Seville, demanding the “maintenance of their jobs”, from the Palace of San Telmo, seat of the Andalusian Government, until they reached the City Hall, where they were received by the mayor of Seville, Juan Espadas (PSOE). The Socialist leader has expressed his support for the representatives of the company and has criticized the actions of the Junta de Andalucía. “I want to politically regret and reproach the responsibility of the Andalusian Government for not having found a formula. It is not that they could not, as they say, but that they have neither wanted nor done anything specifically to help Abengoa, ”Espadas stated.
The banner that reads “Abengoa, Solution” has traveled around Seville again. Abengoa workers have left the rallies at the company’s headquarters in Palmas Altas (Seville), where they had demonstrated twice in recent weeks, to move to the streets of the Andalusian capital. The staff concentrated in the Palacio de San Telmo and marched, in the company of the unions UGT and CCOO, to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where they met with the mayor of Seville. About 500 people have gathered, according to the National Police.
The request for support to the SEPI rescue fund and the agreement reached with the American fund TerraMar, which are part of the company’s new refinancing plan presented last Wednesday, have again generated uncertainty in the workers of the Andalusian company . Luis Francisco García, president of the Abenewco1 works council, reiterated the wish of the staff: that employment be maintained. “We do not want the company to be divided, to break up and jobs to be lost. We want to be clearly told that the company is going to continue, that it is going to continue operating in Andalusia and that the jobs will be here ”, he stated.
García has indicated that there is a “fluid communication” with the company’s management and that they hope to meet next week to learn “the fine print” of the refinancing plan and the possible entry of an investment fund. TerraMar’s offer would consist of a loan of 150 million euros, with an initial disbursement of 35 and another of 115. Once the precedent conditions have been met, Abenewco1 would carry out a capital increase that TerraMar would underwrite for an amount of 50 million, with the objective of reaching 70% of Abenewco’s capital stock.
One of the workers from the Palmas Altas headquarters who attended the demonstration remains hopeful: “At least it’s something [por el plan de financiación]. There are many people here today who would go on strike. We are the value of the company. We will continue demonstrating until they assure us that we will keep our jobs. ” Laura Rodríguez, president of the Abengoa Energía works council, expresses herself cautiously: “We are awaiting the next meeting with the president of the company, Juan Pablo López-Bravo. The new refinancing plan is a start, but for them. We need a commitment that jobs are going to be kept. Therefore, we will decide the next demonstration after the meeting ”.
Espadas has received the representatives of the company in the Town Hall, who have thanked the gesture. “We have a reference company like this one, with a volume of key jobs for industrial development, which requires help and the Board does not give it. Based on this, there is no industrial policy that the Andalusian Government can defend. We need the Junta de Andalucía to say whether it is going to support it or not, ”said Espadas.
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