French and U.S. labor fight plant closing in France

LISLE, Ill. —  In the pouring rain and blowing wind more than 50 union members from Workers United, United Electrical workers, United Steelworkers, Jobs with Justice and others joined four members of the French union federation, the CGT, on Oct. 30 to demonstrate against Molex Inc. here. Molex, based in Lisle, is a multinational electronics component manufacturer. Molex, in clear violation of French labor law, is closing a profitable plant in the southwest of France to offshore the work somewhere in Asia.

Three of the CGT workers came to Lisle with stock voting proxies so they could ask questions at a stockholders meeting scheduled for Oct. 30 morning. Despite holding legal voting rights that entitled them to participate in the meeting, Denis Parise, an officer in the CGT union, which represents the 300 workers in France, told the supporters that they were denied entry along with an American supporter who also had valid proxy credentials.

Noel Beasley, international vice president of Workers United, said his union was proud to stand in solidarity with the CGT union federation and the Molex workers. He said that years of mutual solidarity between the CGT and his union set the stage for the demonstration in Lisle, and pointed out that active international labor solidarity is vital in the globalized world of today.




Scott Marshall
Scott Marshall

Scott Marshall is a vice chair of the Communist Party and chair of its Labor Commission. Scott grew up in Virginia where he first became active in the civil rights movement in high school, working on voter registration and anti-Klan projects in rural Southern Virginia and Tennessee. He was also active against the war in Vietnam.

Scott has been a life long trade unionist and was active in rank and file reform movements in the Teamsters, Machinists and Steelworkers unions in the 1970s and '80s. He was co-chair of the Save Our Jobs committee of USWA local 1834 at Pullman Standard in Chicago and active in nationwide organizing against plant shutdowns and layoffs. He was a founder of the unemployed organization Jobs or Income Now (Join), in Chicago, and the National Congress of Unemployed Organizations in the 1980s.

Scott has worked for the Communist Party since 1987 when he became the district organizer for the party in Illinois, a post he held until he was elected chair of the National Labor Commission in 1997. Scott remains active in SOAR (Steelworkers Active Organized Retirees). He lives in Chicago.