PSA Peugeot Citroen's CFDT union is calling on fellow labour bodies in the Rennes plant, as well as automotive suppliers in the region, to unite in a march against the announcement last week of swingeing job cuts.

Although the Rennes site looks likely to survive - unlike its C3-producing counterpart at Aulnay near Paris which is to be closed - some 1,400 jobs will nonetheless be axed at the Brittany factory.

The CFDT has already called PSA's jobs cull - which could reach up to 8,000 redundancies as well as 6,000 already announced - a "clap of thunder" across France - but is now urging unions to come together to fight the announcement.

To that end, the Rennes union is calling on the SIA, FO, CFE, CFTC and UNSA labour bodies to demonstrate on 15 September in order to "unite forces to defend show that together we will fight for employment and will defend the competence and know-how of the sector's employees."

The CFDT union claims PSA made its Rennes announcement the day before the site was due for its summer break and that the "pill would be swallowed" before work resumes again.

"Well, for an industrial strategy, it [PSA] is mistaken," a CFDT union statement said. "The workers will be there before and after the holidays to defend jobs and salaries. The know-how and quality of the site are recognised - the same goes for all the automotive sector in the Rennes region - sub-contractors, suppliers, etc.

"Today, the automotive segment in the departement [Ille et Villaine] represents around 24,000 workers - the PSA management has a strong societal responsibility."

All unions involved in PSA's vast restructuring plan are scheduled to meet Economic Regeneration Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, in Paris this evening (17 July).

The French President has tasked Montebourg with finding ways to help PSA workers and pronounced himself 'shocked' at the scale of the mass redundancies as the automaker looks to address falling European demand and over-capacity.