PSA Peugeot Citroen unions are convening urgent discussions in Paris on 16 March as talk of possible job losses resulting from the French automaker’s proposed alliance with General Motors refuses to dissipate.
As well as French labour bodies, many other PSA labour body delegates from as far afield as Russia, Brazil, Argentina and the UK will also attend ahead of further meetings with German and British labour bodies from Opel/Vauxhall at a date to be determined.
The Franco-German-British union summit will be organised through the auspices of the European Metalworkers’ Federation (EMF) against the background of speculation hinting Vauxhall’s plant at Ellesmere Port and Opel’s factory at Bochum could be under threat.[In Paris] “There will be be representatives from France, UK, Germany and Slovakia, as well as Brazil and Argentina as observers as they have PSA factories,” PSA European committee liaison member at the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT) union, Bruno Lemerle, told just-auto from France. “We have [also] had contact with the EMF on this [GM/PSA] question to organise a meeting with Opel and Vauxhall [unions].
“We are worried because of the consequences of possibly losing jobs – we don’t know what form that will take but we are worried.”
The CGT spokesman added concerns had been raised as to the impact of any potential vehicle platform sharing between PSA and GM on production levels, while any common purchasing organisation based in the US was also a worry in terms of supplier jobs.
“There are sales contracts with Tier 1 [suppliers] and beyond them, the cascade of Tier 2 and Tier 3s,” said Lemerle. “We don’t know what the consequences are.”
The CGT union said it was anxious not to pit labour members at GM and PSA against each other as any alliance beds in: “It is not a question of opposing the workers of different countries, but to defend ourselves to see what we can keep,” said Lemerle.
“We have to define, with other countries, an action plan that is coherent.”
PSA and GM recently said the aim of any alliance would be to generate savings of US$2bn per year.
Union sources in Germany also raised the concern to just-auto that Opel’s own component sourcing could be under threat in the new alliance. Faurecia is a PSA affiliate and as the source put it: “One of the largest component makers in Europe – there is potential for pressure from management.”
Opel/Vauxhall confirmed to just-auto yesterday (7 March) it would take “two to three months” before specific details are unveiled concerning its restructuring plan designed to turn around recent huge losses of US$700m.