FRANCE: PSA's Aulnay reopens under considerable worker tension
Significant tension continues to surround PSA Peugeot Citroen's reopened Aulnay factory near Paris as around 200 militant strikers demonstrate against its planned closure.
The C3-producing plant started again this morning (28 January) at 06:30 after severe snowfall in France last week paralysed supply to Aulnay leading to a temporary closure, but is already subject to disruption as the hardline protesters attempt to halt work.
The three-day shut-down was also needed to repair what PSA claims is damage at the plant carried out by some strikers.
As just-auto called PSA at its Aulnay plant this morning, loud cries and shouts from what appeared to be a large crowd could clearly be heard in the background, with the automaker representative unable to continue the conversation.
The unrest also spilled over last Friday to Paris' extremely busy Gare du Nord where demonstrators from the CGT union handed out leaflets to largely sympathetic commuters, while barriers at some of the region's motorway tolls were also lifted.
"That [redundancy] could happen to me as well, so I am happy [to] show solidarity," was the reaction of one Gare du Nord traveller, with a CGT protester noting: "Despite the attacks made on us, we can see the movement has popular support."
PSA insists however, the strikers at Aulnay today represent only a handful of the 2,800 employees at the factory.
"There is a very, very little minority," a PSA spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. "Most people want to go back to work [although] some are still on strike.
"The ones on strike are opposed to the factory closing - they are really a minority who want to occupy the factory so this is why we are trying everything we can so others can work safely.
"It is a right to be on strike, but it is a right to work safely. One of my bosses was there this morning and told me workers could enter."
A statement from the CGT noted: "The CGT condemns management's irresponsible policy, which is trying to prevent workers from declaring themselves freely on strike."
Further talks are due to be held tomorrow in Paris between PSA and its unions on future plans for the company.