A battle between a car maker and its workers is looming in Aulnay-sous-Bois. This after Jean-Pierre Mercier, head of the hardline CGT union, vowed to make French carmaker PSA/Peugeot-Citroen back down from its plans to shut down a plant in the area. The CGT union is planning a long-term campaign of protest, which may include marches on the company headquarters, just to keep PSA’s Aulnay-sous-Bois plant open, even if it means continued losses for the carmaker.
Other unions, meanwhile, are planning to agree on the closure given that workers are offered with hefty redundancy agreements. Mercier was one of those called for a shock campaign against PSA after the plant’s workers learned of the carmaker’s plans to shut down the plant. According to Mercier, workers have the power to “make Peugeot back down” from the planned closure.
The eventual battle in Aulnay-sous-Bois could become a precedent for other car manufacturing plants across Europe facing closure. PSA is not the only European carmaker that has announced planned factory closures, which are aimed to reduce the excess capacity in the continent, as Fiat and Opel have already expressed intention to shut down under-used factories and employ job cuts. For its own plans, PSA intends to shut down factories and cut around 8,000 jobs by 2014. The carmaker is trying to plug its loss-making ways, as PSA posted EUR200 million ($246 million) in losses a month in 2011.