PSA has called extraordinary union meeting

PSA has called extraordinary union meeting

PSA Peugeot Citroen is dismissing as a "complete misunderstanding" reports it would axe nearly 3,500 more jobs, but has nontheless summoned unions for an extraordinary meeting on Monday (24 November).

Speculation in France is centering on a huge new round of job cuts, although PSA is pointing to the "inter-generational contract" it agreed with unions last year for up to 3,500 employees to leave, which remains.

The scheme - which will run in tandem with hiring an unspecified number of young people - will apply to those staff from 52-54 years old and is within the framework of the social contract.

"It [rumours] is a huge misunderstanding - we are completely saying we are not going to cut off 3,500 jobs," a PSA spokeswoman told just-auto from Paris. "We signed a new [2013] social contract between the trade unions and PSA and we agreed we will not be cutting off any more jobs than we did in the past until 2016.

"We had in this contract the possibility for senior people to go and retire up to one year before. We keep pay [ing] the senior people who want to retire up to a certain percentage of their salary.

"We said last October when we signed the new social contract, the senior agreement could be used by 2,500-3,000 people and that is what maybe is going to happen. But we can't confirm it is 2,500 who take the senior agreement."

Despite PSA vehemently distancing itself from the speculation, which is widespread in France today (20 November), unions will nonetheless feel a sense of disquiet about being summoned to the extraordinary meeting in Paris, while the government will be monitoring any employment implications with an anxious eye.

"There [are] no job cuts within the company," said the spokeswoman, although in comments that will clearly make union antennae twitch, added: "I am not yet able to talk about the future."

It also appears those wishing to take early retirement can do so on a part-time basis, at least initially. Staff will be offered the chance to work six months and then leave, others may choose to come in just one day a week.

"In five days there is a meeting between trade union and the company and they will be sharing information on that topic," said the PSA spokeswoman. "It is an extraordinary meeting."

The carmaker posted a first half profit for the first time in three years this year and is working to restore earnings by bolstering sales outside Europe, scaling back its model line-up and expanding its partnership in China with Dongfeng Motor.

Neither the Confederation General du Travail nor Confederation Francaise des Travailleurs Chretiens unions, was immediately available for comment.

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