Around 100 staff at French lingerie maker Lejaby are protesting at the planned closure of three of its manufacturing plants in France and the potential loss of 197 jobs.

They have occupied the firm’s HQ in Rillieux-la-Pape, near Lyon, for an unspecified period.

The closure of the plants, a consequence of management moves to relocate more production abroad in order to cut costs, was first announced in April this year and confirmed earlier this week. 

The staff staging the occupation have called for the merger of two of the plants to be closed in order to safeguard some jobs. They are demanding severance bonuses of up to EUR70,000 for workers made redundant and for finishing wage levels to be maintained during training periods for new employment.  

Founded in 1930, Lejaby was sold in 2008 by US group Warnaco to Austria's Palmers Textil AG, in a deal which valued the business at a total of EUR45m (US$59m).