PSA's Aulnay plant workers return from summer break ahead of union vote
French CGT union has called for protests at Paris auto show
PARIS (Reuters) -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen workers returned from the summer break to the automaker's French car plant earmarked for closure in Aulnay-sous-Bois, as unions scheduled a vote next week on possible industrial action.
PSA, which is shedding more than 10,000 domestic jobs as it struggles to halt mounting losses, said work resumed "without incident" on Tuesday at the factory north of Paris, which makes the Citroen C3 subcompact.
The PSA work force's reaction to plans to shut the Aulnay plant, shrink another and eliminate thousands more positions across France, will be closely watched by a European carmaking industry struggling with overcapacity.
Workers at Aulnay will hold a general meeting on Sept. 11 to decide on possible action in response to the July 12 closure announcement, CGT union official Jean-Pierre Mercier said.
"It's always difficult to organize action on the first day back," Mercier said. "You have to wait for the crews to be back in place."
The left-wing CGT, France's biggest industrial union and the most powerful at Paris-based PSA, has called for protests at the Paris auto show, Europe's biggest car industry gathering of the year, which opens later this month.
Aulnay, which employs some 3,000 workers, is slated for closure in 2014. Half its current workforce will be transferred to the Poissy plant west of Paris under current plans. Production of the C3 will also be transferred to the plant, which builds the Peugeot 208 subcompact.
For the remainder, PSA has pledged to identify investors to create new industrial jobs on the Aulnay site, emphasizing its proximity and transport links to central Paris and Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report