Hardline French union, CGT has called for a “demonstration of support” today (31 July) in front of the Tribunal de Commerce de Poitiers, which is due to pronounce imminently on the fate of PSA and Renault supplier, GM&S.

The CGT is hoping for yet another delay from the Court in the interminable saga of the French stamper, which despite only employing 277 people, is widely regarded as an early indicator of newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron’s future industrial policy.

There appears to be only one credible buyer in the game, namely French stamper, GMD, which the CGT claims will only protect 112 jobs out of the 277, although several calls to the supplier to confirm or deny this were rebufffed.

The issue has seen workers take desperate measures to save their company, including cutting through plant machinery and threatening to blow up gas cannisters attached to a tower at the La Souterraine factory in the Creuse region of France.

Despite its tiny size, the company’s plight has triggered an intense reaction from Macron’s new government, which recently dispatched French Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire and Secretary of State, Benjamin Griveaux the GM&S site to talk to employees about the proposed takeover by fellow-supplier, GMD and ahead of the Tribunal de Commerce de Poitiers’ ruling concerning the factory’s future.

“The staff of supplier, GM&S in bankruptcy protection, hope to obtain from the Tribunal de Commerce a delay concerning the only takeover offer by GMD, number one French stamper, which only envisages keeping 112 jobs and carrying out 157 redundancies,” said a CGT statement.

“GM&S workers underline their intention not to let themselves be buried without reacting and call for a demonstration of support on 31 July in front of the Tribunal de Commerce de Poitiers.”

In what many outside France might regard as a surprising move, Paris recently ‘asked’ PSA and Renault to increase orders, resulting in both automakers dramatically upping their financial commitments to GM&S, offering to guarantee EUR50m (US59m) of work each for the next five years in order to avoid the component producer facing liquidation.

The French State will also contribute EUR5m to modernise the plant, with Renault committing to the same sum.

“For its part, the Government will continue to work with all staff so solutions are found for everyone,” said a statement from the French Economy and Finance Ministry.

“It will pursue, with local councils and manufacturers, the support of the site’s continuation, its development and industrial activity.”

An example of how bitter the situation has become came recently when PSA was forced to hire helicopters to deliver parts such as brake discs and crankcases to its Sept-Sons plant in the Allier Department after GM&S staff obstructed the site,

French media reports indicate unions have hired two coaches to ferry demonstrators to the Tribunal de Commerce, whose judgement may represent the last throw of the dice before significant swathes of France effectively shut down for the August holidays.