After the shock announcement of planned job cuts at PSA Peugeot Citroen, it’s time for negotiations. The French government initiated discussions with the unions today and tomorrow the Chief Executive Philippe Varin will sit down with France’s new socialist Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg.The cuts, which have been deemed unacceptable by President Holland, have also angered the factory workers.
“We’re all getting the sack here, Varin is a liar. The bosses are all liars and criminals and now they want to get rid of employees, so we’re going to war with them.
The plan cuts 8,000 jobs in France and will close down the factory at Aulnay with 3,000 employees. 1,000 posts will go out of a total of 5,600 from the La Janais site close to Rennes.
The closure of Aulnay is the first in the automotive industry in France for 20 years.
Philippe Julien, the CGT union secretary at the plant, said:
“We were still not given a reason for the closure of this site, which has a modern, well-situated factory with access to the airport, railway and motorway as well as its proximity to Paris in the north-south axis. There is no reason to close this plant, we make the C3, which is the best-selling car of the group and the one that pulls all the sales in right now and we’ve still got 450,000 cars to make according to management, so that production could take us into 2016 at least.”
The French car industry received four billion euros of state aid a few years ago. The unions haven’t forgotten.
“We ask the government to respect the agreements it signed with PSA. There have been agreements, through which PSA received huge subsidies worth hundreds of millions. In return, PSA promised to maintain employment.” said Philippe Julien, the CGT union secretary.
Euronews correspondent Giovanni Magi said outside the factory at Aulnay:
“After the strike on Thursday, activity has resumed at the plant. Everyone is at work. The tone of the language is strong, the union considers Peugeot-Citroen’s restructuring plan a declaration of war, but the climate still seems marked by a sense of responsibility and restraint.”