Unions concerned about the possible closure of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Aulnay plant have raised the possibility the automaker could wield the axe imminently – a proposition from which the manufacturer is keen to distance itself.
The Aulnay site near Paris produces PSA’s C3 model, but the hardline Confederation General du Travail (CGT) maintains once the upcoming French Presidential elections have finished, the manufacturer could announce considerable restructuring.
Tension has been rising among the near 3,500 workforce and following an earlier meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the CGT union will now see Industry Minister, Eric Besson, tomorrow (18 April) in Paris to air its concerns.
“We are threatened by closure after the Presidential elections,” CGT union delegate, Jean-Pierre Mercier told just-auto from France. “We want to ask from PSA the signature of an agreement that keeps all the jobs up to at least 2016 and the awarding of a new vehicle [to Aulnay].
“The management wants a complete closure of the factory – by chance we got to know a secret document about the closure in 2014. We [have] got together in front of the campaign headquarters of Nicolas Sarkozy.”
The secret document Mercier refers to is an internal report by the manufacturer last year and leaked by the CGT union, worried about PSA’s view a reduction of production capacity for the group is unavoidable. Aulnay has already lost 1,500 jobs since 2004.
The Aulnay issue has surged to the top of the French news agenda just days before the first round of Presidential elections, with Sarkozy summoning PSA CEO, Philippe Varin, to the Elysée Palace last Saturday (14 April) to discuss the matter.
The CGT’s previous meeting with Sarkozy will now be followed by further discussions with Besson tomorrow in Paris, ahead of this Sunday’s first round of Presidential elections.
“We have no comment to make,” a PSA spokesman in Paris told just-auto. “The CGT says the same thing every time – they have been saying that for a long time.”