Peugeot and Renault’s French plants affected by strikes image

Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen plants were both hit by strikes on Thursday as workers protest planned cost cuts.

French carmakers want to cut costs and boost productivity because of slumping sales. In Peugeot’s Aulnay plant near Paris, a single production line was stopped after five workers were summoned for lack of productivity, a representative of the CGT union told Reuters. The Aulnay plant is due to be closed in 2014, with 3,000 jobs to be lost in the process.

“The strike was extended to the evening team and a third negotiating meeting has been planned, but production has been halted,” CGT representative Jean-Pierre Mercier said. A Peugeot spokesman said that production on other lines at the plant had been slowed but not stopped entirely.

Peugeot has promised to offer jobs elsewhere to about half of the workers to be laid off at Aulnay, but unions at its Rennes plant, where layoffs are also planned, say that some of the promised job offers elsewhere will not be available until early 2014.

As for Renault, two French plants were also affected by work stoppages, according to separate union sources. The stoppages came as the carmaker continued labor talks over its push to bring production costs to the same level as Spain. The next negotiation round will take place on December 11.