Peugeot unions agree early exit from French car plant

Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:17am EST
 

By Gilles Guillaume and Laurence Frost

PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA: Quote) unions agreed to let the French carmaker start to move workers from its troubled Aulnay plant, effectively beginning the wind-down of the site a year ahead of its scheduled closure.

The works council approved the transfers to another Paris area plant in response to violence and threats against staff ignoring a strike call by the leftwing CGT, said Denis Martin, Executive Vice President of industrial operations.

The interruption of the plant's daily output of 440 cars may hit Peugeot with higher-than-expected restructuring costs unless the situation is resolved soon.

Despite slumping French and European auto demand, waiting lists for the Citroen C3 subcompact assembled in Aulnay have increased as a result of the stoppages, Peugeot said.

"A certain amount of lost production was anticipated in the plan, but if this drags on much longer it will start to have an impact," a company official said.

Production remains at a standstill following further damage to equipment inflicted on Thursday by a "violent minority" of strikers, Martin told reporters at a briefing in Paris.

"We won't be drawn into this cycle of violence," he said.

Under Peugeot's restructuring plan to cut 8,000 jobs nationwide, half of Aulnay's 3,000 workforce were set to be transferred next year to the Poissy plant west of the capital.   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