Client profile: a tier 1 automotive supplier that specialises in the manufacture of controls and transmission systems. This American manufacturer, which has operations in France, sought CORPGUARD’s assistance when faced with a high-intensity labour dispute.

Context/objective: nature of the risks involved, extent of the company’s exposure, mission.

Social and political risk: a labour dispute erupted between management and employees, who were seeking a reduction in their working hours, a pay rise and the reinstatement of company employees who had been dismissed for serious misconduct. Following the breakdown of negotiations, industrial relations quickly took a serious turn for the worse. Management was no longer able to negotiate, the CEO’s family received threats and the situation spiralled out of control.

Economic risks: as a tier 1 equipment manufacturer, the company is a strategically important subcontractor for all its automotive customers. Any disruption to supply would prevent the company from delivering spare parts to its customers, which in turn would lead to stiff daily financial penalty charges.

CORPGUARD solution implemented on the client’s behalf: operational support in handling the labour dispute.

Mission and objectives:

  • Identifying weaknesses at the site.
  • Securing the site’s strategic infrastructure and the integrity of its perimeter.
  • Monitoring protests and protestors, and mapping the actors involved.
  • Close protection for the CEO and his family, who had received threats.
  • Acting as interface and providing assistance with negotiations.
  • Organising a flow of supplies to keep production lines moving and meet customer demand.

Return on investment and results:

Protection of infrastructure and organisation of crisis management

  • Protecting the installations and maintaining the integrity of the production line.
  • Business continuity plan and setting-up of a replacement supply chain.
  • CORPGUARD arranged the secure transportation and flow of goods for suppliers and customers.
  • The supply chain remained uninterrupted thanks to the use of helicopters. These were used to keep the plant supplied with raw materials and to maintain customer relationships via the swift delivery of spare parts to their sites.
  • Drafting of security procedures for production plants to use in crisis situations.
  • Support in getting the situation at the site back to normal.

Protection of the company’s teams and staff

  • Close protection for the directors and their families.
  • Assistance with crisis management.
  • Setting up of a hotline and crisis management arrangements.
  • Monitoring of the situation and organisation of a Crisis Room: daily reporting to the COMEX in the USA on the situation at the site and on industrial relations there.
  • Assistance with resolving high-intensity labour disputes: acting as interface and providing assistance with negotiations with the local authorities, an employers’ federation and the police.

As a result of CORPGUARD’s intervention, which was carried out with absolute discretion and confidentiality, the CEO, the trade unions and the authorities remained safe. CORPGUARD guaranteed the physical integrity of the site perimeter and provided reassurance for the CEO’s family by ensuring that they were accompanied at all times. CORPGUARD’s intervention also meant that the production lines could quickly be resupplied with raw materials, thereby avoiding the prospect of stiff penalty charges for the company and heavy losses for its customers.