PSA unions bicker over job cuts at crisis-hit automaker
Company loses 7 million euros a day, union official says
PARIS (Bloomberg) -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen labor leaders squared off against one another over a plan to eliminate 17 percent of the automaker's French work force, with three of the five main unions urging immediate action to stem losses.
"I am extremely worried by the company's current situation," said Christian Lafaye, leader of the FO union. "If it files for bankruptcy tomorrow, I wouldn't be surprised. The more we are waiting for the restructuring plan, the worse it will be."
Lafaye said PSA is losing 7 million euros ($9.5 million) a day and can't afford to delay a restructuring being blocked by a Paris court following challenges to those efforts by the CGT union.
The CGT is also striking at PSA's plant in Aulnay near Paris, which builds the Citroen C4 and is scheduled for closure. About 120 PSA workers went on strike in Aulnay earlier this week, slowing production to about 100 cars from a normal daily output of about 500.
The unions are clashing over both the shutdown and PSA's plans to shrink its French operations by 11,200 posts over the next two years.
"I strongly condemn these defamatory accusations that try to tarnish the current strikes," said Jean-Pierre Mercier, deputy head of the CGT union at PSA.
The Paris court said this week that PSA can't eliminate jobs until Faurecia, a French supplier 57 percent-owned by PSA, informs its workers about the impact of the carmaker's restructuring. Faurecia is itself aiming to cut about 3,000 jobs in its home region by the end of 2013.
PSA's European vehicle sales fell 13 percent in 2012 in a market down 8 percent, according to industry association ACEA.
PSA said in a statement that it "welcomes the responsible attitude" of the three unions supporting the restructuring "in a context of an environment of sustained recession in the European markets and the difficult situation this creates for the group."
PSA stock has plummeted 53 percent in the last 12 months, valuing the automaker at 2.03 billion euros.Contact Automotive News