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David
09-23-2009, 04:40 AM
After receiving the news in June that they might be laid off, the workers at the Chaffoteaux factory took a creative approach to show their displeasure. The company, which makes gas and water heating equipment, is facing declining demand amid a slump in real estate sales and a shift in French households away from gas heaters.

Mr. February is wearing nothing but a cardboard box. Mr. October is posed like the famed Rodin sculpture "The Thinker." Mr. April is naked but for a flag bearing the company's logo, flowing in front of his lower body.

Fifteen men who work at the factory in Ploufragan, 450 kilometers (280 miles) west of Paris, posed for the calendar. Five thousand copies were printed, and 2,000 had been sold at euro7 each as of Monday, three days after they were made available.

A Chaffoteaux spokeswoman said 207 of the factory's 251 employees may be laid off, but said that depends on further negotiations. A meeting between the management of Chaffoteaux and factory representatives is scheduled for Sept. 28, said the spokeswoman, who was not authorized to be publicly named because of company policy.