French government officials have met representatives of US car parts maker Molex in Paris in a bid to restart dialogue following the American' company's apparent initial refusal to provide redundancy payments.

The French government recently said Molex's decision was "scandalous" given it had posted profits of US$75m and had asked Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen to terminate all orders with Molex.

However, at the request of French Industry Minister Christian Estrosi, Molex representatives travelled to Paris yesterday (8 November) to meet government officials in the presence of the liquidator authorised by the Paris Tribunal de Commerce.

According to the Ministry, Molex outlined its intention to accept a restart of dialogue, the objective of which it said was to reach an agreement concerning payment due to former employees in the coming weeks.

Estrosi previously said following the "brutal decision" by Molex to stop payment for the social plan, he would use "all avenues of the law possible against Molex" if it didn't pay the - unspecified - amount due in full.

The Minister now says these actions have brought Molex back to the negotiating table, in the framework of the liquidation procedure under the authority of the  Paris Tribunal.

An Industry Ministry statement emailed to just-auto nonetheless held out the prospect of further action, should the Ministry not be satisfied however.

"Christian Estrosi underlines he will not hesitate to return to more strict measures, notably legal, if Molex's decision to renew dialogue, was not acted on the coming weeks," said the statement.

Molex's electrical connectors plant in southern Villemur-sur-Tarn was closed in October 2009 after an 11-month struggle by workers to keep the factory running.

The American company recently referred to Estrosi as taking a "very aggressive approach regarding our former subsidiary" and that it was "surprised the French government would interfere with Molex's international business relationships and judicial decisions."

Molex is today (9 November) declining to add to those comments. "When we have an update, we will give it but we have nothing to say at this moment," a Molex spokeswoman in the US told just-auto.

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