The Michelin factory in Joué-les-Tours employs hundreds of people and stretches as far as the eye can see in this photo. Sadly it is struggling financially. Several times this year there have been compulsory temporary lay-offs of a couple of hundred staff for a day or two. This arrangement is called chomage technique in French and is a means for the company to stand staff down and have the state benefits system pay them temporarily. After the lay-off ends the staff go back to work as normal. It is not just used in times of financial trouble, but can be used for any temporary difficulty the company finds itself in (for example, an accident such as a chemical leak which forces the closure of a plant because it is temporarily too dangerous to work).
Susan was born in Victoria, but moved to Queensland when she was 11. Simon was born in London, but moved to Canberra when he was 7, and to Queensland when he was 28. In 1997 they moved to London. Susan worked for a large heritage and nature conservation trust and Simon taught music technology at tertiary level.
Now we live in Preuilly-sur-Claise, a small town with a population of less than 1000 people in the south of the Loire Valley. We write about the restoration of our house, the history of our local area, nature, cooking and anything else that strikes us as interesting. When we are not blogging we run Loire Valley Time Travel, doing individually tailored tours of the Touraine for anglophone visitors in our classic Citroën, Célestine.
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