France’s CFDT union says there are still “many unanswered questions” surrounding FCA’s (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) proposal concerning a potential 50:50 merger with Renault.

Renault’s board met today (28 May) in Paris to discuss the ‘friendly proposal,’ but the news has caused considerable surprise among France’s powerful unions.

The CFDT (Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail) notes FCA had been looking for a partner with another manufacturer and after “several meetings,” had chosen Renault for a possible tie-up, a move it maintains had met with a “positive opinion” from the French company.

“The synergies of our two groups with the Alliance position us among the best manufacturers in the world,” said a CFDT statement. “Of course, many questions remain unanswered on how that will happen and on the strategic, industrial and social consequences.”

CFDT Renault added it would take particular care to keep:

  • Jobs, notably in production sites and in French engineering
  • The brands of both businesses and their identity
  • Governance which integrates social partners

FCA says in its proposal benefits from the proposed merger can happen without the need for plant shutdowns, although that claim is likely to come under considerable scrutiny, particularly from politicians in France.

The French government owns 15% of Renault’s shares, meaning its approval is key if the merger is to go ahead.