FRANCE: Renault dangles no plant closures in exchange for radical restructuring
Renault is offering to commit to no plant closures in France if its unions agree to a raft of measures discussed at this afternoon's (13 November) meeting in Paris, although the CGT labour body is already expressing reservations.
The CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT and FO unions met in the second round of talks today to improve Renault performance in the light of extremely challenging economic conditions in Europe, with management proposing setting up two regional production centres in France.
The Western site would group plants in Vallee de Seine Choisy-le-Roi and Le Mans, while the North East centre would feature the operations of Douai, STA, MCA and Sovab.
Such a move would allow Renault to pool its back-office activities for support services in such areas as general management, human resources, purchasing, accounting and logistics, with a front office responsible for employee-management relations and working with production.
"As part of the regional production centre organisation structure, balancing the workforce could be made easier through the introduction, in line with the conditions agreed on in the negotiations, of a better organised staff secondment system, whereby employees may be led to work temporarily at other sites in their centre in line with activity and needs," a statement from Renault said.
"Such a system would help each site, within its centre, to maintain performance in line with cyclical fluctuations in activity at the sites by using the skills of sites in under-activity to strengthen those at sites requiring extra workforce. It would also serve to limit the use of short-time work and avoid redundancies, thereby safeguarding employment and skills."
Should unions agree to the plans - and they have already provoked a hostile reaction from the hardline CGT labour body present at the meeting - Renault says it "could commit to no plant closures in France" despite the lack of real growth forecast.
However, a statement from the CGT sent to just-auto said: "The major problem with which our plants are confronted rests in the choice of management to delocalise or externalise manufacture in order to overload the Turkish, Slovenian or Romanian factories, with deplorable working conditions, while in broad terms, the French market is stable."
A further meeting will be held on 29 November.
Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn has told just-auto that the next 2-3 years will be mediocre for the European car market with little growth, but that he believes Europe's economy will be in a growth phase aft...
As the middle of the year gets closer, the the European automotive marketplace isn't getting any easier. By last year, Western Europe's car market had lost 3m units since its 2007 peak (a heady 14.8m...
Ongoing sovereign debt crises across Europe are continuing to have a major impact on the Continent's automaking development, with 2007 production levels not expected to return until 2017, says analyst...
- THE WEEK THAT WAS - Diesel developments
- Federal-Mogul on trends in the plug market - Q&A
- Comment - emissions 'failures' hardly a surprise
- ANALYSIS - supercharged Jaguar XF
- THE WEEK THAT WAS - VW agrees a deal with the US
- BMW launches 'big battery' i3 EV
- BMW Q1 operating profit down 2.5%
- Ford to idle top-selling truck's plant for a week
- Autonomous cars to shake up car insurance
- Volvo Cars swings to profit in Q1