Anger Over Peugeot's French Jobs Cuts
Union says 5,000 French citizens out of 6,000 workers
across Europe to be hit, a higher proportion than earlier
Alazeera November 15, 2011
French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen is planning to cut 5,000
jobs in its home market, an official from the CGT union has
The figure suggests a far higher proportion of layoffs in the
company's home country than previously disclosed.
Last month, Peugeot warned its core car manufacturing
business would barely make money this year and announced
6,000 job cuts across Europe, including 1,000 manufacturing
jobs and 2,500 contractor positions.
Jean-Pierre Mercier, a union representative at Peugeot's
factory in the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint Denis, said 1,900
French manufacturing jobs would be shed, while another 3,100
jobs in sales, information technology and research and
development would also be cut.
"The group's international development can't be carried out
by cutting our jobs here given that we're the ones who
PSA's wealth," Mercier said on Tuesday on the sidelines of a
works council meeting.
Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the meeting,
which took place at at Peugeot's Paris headquarters near the
Arc de Triomphe.
Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Paris, said the
planned layoffs come at a time when the French are anxious
about the impact of widespread austerity measures.
"People in France can see the very serious problems in Greece
and Italy, and they're very anxious that their country
shouldn't end up in the same situation yet on the other hand
many people are reluctant to have to take this rather
unpalatable economic medicine, which the government is doling
out," she said.
"There's a popular feeling here that this is a crisis that
has been generated by the greed of banks; of companies
trying to satisfy shareholders."
Officials declined to comment on the cuts, but Peugeot has
previosuly said that no full-time workers in France would be
Jean-Luc Melenchon, the Left Party presidential candidate,
issued a statement blaming credit ratings agencies for the
decision, noting that Moody's had recently lowered Peugeot's
credit rating to negative.
"The result [of Moody's decision]: even though the company's
profits rose 18 per cent in the first half of 2011, the owner
throws thousands of workers into the streets to 'reassure the
markets'," said Melenchon.
Melenchon's party is politically to the left of the main
opposition Socialist Party.
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