French carmaker Renault has given its works council members details of plans to cut the number of employees.
There are to be a total of 4,000 voluntary redundancies and the CGT union responded by calling a one-day strike at all of Renault’s factories in France for Thursday.
Union official Lionel LePage said: “The management wants to make fewer vehicles with maximum profit from each. We think they should do the opposite, make more cars and make slightly less profit on each and that way they wouldn’t have to reduce the workforce.”
The staffing cuts are no surprise after the recent announcement from Renault’s Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn. He abandoned an ambitious sales volume growth target for next year in the face of a market slowdown.
The move is designed to help Renault meet its profit targets. Their net profits have fallen from 3.4 billion euros in 2005 to a projected 2.5 billion euros for this year.
Analysts said the job cuts should help Renault reduce costs by around 175 million euros.
They added that, due to models in the pipeline, including to the new Megane to be unveiled next month at the Paris Car Show, Renault is among the carmakers best placed to weather the sales decline in western Europe in the second half of this year and 2009.