PARIS -- Stellantis will provide financial support worth up to 1,400 euros ($1,350) to most of its employees in France and will bring forward salary negotiations to December to counter surging consumer prices, the automaker said after talks with unions.
The automaker said it would soon discuss a similar financial boost for workers in Italy.
Europe's cost-of-living crisis is putting upward pressure on wage inflation as companies across the continent face demands from workers to cushion the impact of rising prices.
Stellantis' aid will include a one-off bonus payment and the possibility to convert three days off for overtime into cash, a company spokesman said.
About 60 percent of workers will be eligible for the maximum support while 20 percent will be entitled to help worth 1,100 euros. The top-earning 20 percent of workers will not receive anything.
"The proposals made by the management and shared with the social partners make it possible to increase the purchasing power of our employees above the level of inflation," said Bruno Bertin, director of Human Resources at Stellantis.
A spokesperson for the automaker told Reuters Stellantis was managing the inflation topic country by country and would launch talks in Italy in the coming weeks.
"Every country is specific, legislation and inflation wise," the spokesperson said, also leaving the door open to similar moves in other areas.
"We are working on a co-construction mode with our union partners, respecting local regulations, constraint and timing, in order to make the best proposals to protect both the company and the employees interests."
Stellantis operates and produces in several countries in the world, including Italy, Poland, the United States and Canada.
Rival automaker Renault last week offered staff over 1,000 euros in exceptional payments.
Wage negotiations slated for the start of 2023 will be brought forward to December, the spokesman said.
The CFDT, one of France's more moderate trade unions, responded by saying that one-off payments would not resolve the problem of declining purchasing power and that salaries needed to be improved. It is requesting wage talks to start in October.
In Italy, Stellantis and unions are starting talks to renew the contract for most of the group's employees in the country, due to expire at year-end.
Unions are expected to present their proposal for the new agreement, including for salary increases, next month.