Demonstrators Occupy French Satellite Factories


PARIS — A long-simmering dispute between unions representing employees of Thales Alenia Space’s French satellite-production sites escalated the week of April 2 with demonstrators occupying offices and demanding immediate negotiations on 2010 salaries.

The demonstrators, representing half a dozen different unions, staged sit-ins but did no damage to property. Work on satellite antennas and subsystems in Toulouse, and at the Cannes satellite-integration plant, continued without interruption, company officials said.

Thales Alenia Space Chief Executive Reynald Seznec, who has not met with the demonstrators up to now, agreed to a meeting on April 8, officials said. Thales Alenia Space, whose French sites produce satellite payload electronics and platforms, has said it expects no revenue growth in 2010 compared with 2009.