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French Workers Threaten To Blow Up Their Factory

Published: February 7, 2013
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Tuesday morning, the 168 remaining employees of DMI in Vaux, a small town near Montluçon in the Department of Allier, smack-dab in the middle of France, rigged about ten gas cylinders throughout the factory they’d been occupying and threatened to blow it up—unless their demands were met. Another day in the decline of the private sector à la Française.

Formerly named Brealu, the foundry manufactured cast-aluminum intake manifolds, suspension arms, steering pump housings, and other automotive components. Among its customers: Renault, German heavy-truck maker MAN, US automotive component supplier BorgWarner, and French conglomerate Alstom. Hobbling along on its last leg, the foundry was acquired by Diversified Machine Inc. (DMI), a worldwide automotive component supplier, which itself was acquired by US private equity firm Platinum Equity. Along the way, 40% of the employees at DMI in Vaux were axed.

“We specialize in acquiring operationally complex businesses, finding undiscovered opportunity, and creating value,” Platinum Equity says on its website. But it doesn’t always work out.

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