Contract tight in hand, they queue in front of the wooden door marked with the word “direction”, a little intimidated by the solemnity of the moment. This Thursday, December 9 is historic: it seals the takeover of the famous ceramic sanitary ware factory Jacob Delafon, installed since 1889 in Damparis (Jura), by a French SME, the Kramer Group, until now specializing in the taps.
The last acts of redemption from the American group Kohler – which had owned the company since 1986, and took the brand with it – will be signed in the afternoon. But, before, the new CEO, Manuel Rodriguez, receives face to face each of the former employees that he will rehire to restart. They are fifty-four, already or soon back in this factory which they feared to see disappear, and from which they were made redundant for economic reasons, six months ago.
” That feels good, says Eric Donzeau, 57 years old. Since September 3, 2020 and the announcement by Kohler that he wanted to separate from the site, we have gone through ups and downs. We thought it was going to start again, then no… It was hard… ” Like him, others show their relief. “It saves me the stress of looking for a job, temping agencies … I experienced that, it’s a hassle”, said one. “At our age, it would not have been easy to work elsewhere”, said another 59 years old.
Those who have already resumed are enthusiastic. Like Frédéric Curie, 52, returned in November, when he had just found another job. “In an SME, decisions are made faster. And here ! Not in the United States! The atmosphere is already very different. We have confidence. “
“Here, we can produce French from A to Z. We immediately felt that this was of interest to major brands”, Manuel Rodriguez, CEO of Kramer
Jean-Claude Cetre, 42, returned to his workshop ten days ago. “It’s as if I had never left!, he said slightly euphoric. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else! “ His work is central: he is a die-maker, he molds the molds. “I had a lot of contact with Mr. Rodriguez, because in France there are no die-rollers! So, without us, he would have had to outsource to Italy. “ However, it was not the project, which appears from the new name of the company, officially renamed, Thursday, the “Jurassienne of French ceramic”.
The strategy is indeed 100% made in France. “Here, we can produce French from A to Z. We immediately felt that this was of interest to major brands. At the moment, bringing in washbasins and toilets from the other side of the world is very expensive! And that’s good for our project! “, Mr. Rodriguez will detail, during the inauguration ceremony, insisting on his “Reckless love” for France.
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