Peugeot unions agree early exit from French car plant

Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:58am EST
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By Gilles Guillaume and Laurence Frost

PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen unions agreed to the start of worker transfers from the French carmaker's Aulnay plant, due to close next year, effectively beginning the wind-down of the site ahead of schedule.

The Peugeot works council approved the transfers at a meeting on Friday, a company spokesman said. "There is a consensus on these measures between management and the majority of unions."

Under Peugeot's restructuring plan, which is cutting 8,000 jobs nationwide, half of Aulnay's 3,000 workforce is set to be transferred to another plant in the Paris region before the site's closure in 2014.

The transfers to the Poissy site, west of the capital, can now begin immediately, cutting Aulnay to one factory shift from two.

The early departures were backed by the CFDT, CFTC, CGC, FO and SIA unions, with only the increasingly isolated CGT voting against, workers' representatives said.

Despite the progress towards closing Aulnay, Peugeot's broader restructuring faces possible delays resulting from a successful court challenge by the CGT.

The decision on transfers comes amid escalating tension between strikers and staff still reporting for duty at the factory north of Paris.

The French government named a mediator on Thursday to broker talks at Aulnay as the mood worsened.   Continued...

A company logo is seen on a Peugeot car parked in Paris, February 12, 2013. French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is due to post its 2012 results on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann