Renault Puts Pressure on Unions to Accept Deal image

Renault tries to convince workers they need to make pay concessions for the future of its French plants.

Today, January 23rd, Gerard Leclercq, Renault’s head of French operations, said that without a union deal the automaker will be forced to find other solutions to cut costs. Earlier this month the company announced its plans to cut 7,500 jobs in France in the following four years, but denied union accusations that it threatened to close plants if a deal is not reached.

“If there is no deal, it is impossible to leave things as they are,” Leclercq said in a BFM radio interview. “All options are open. But, for the moment, there is no plan B.”

The results of the automaker’s demand consisted in unions’ protests and production stoppages at the company’s plants. Yesterday, January 22nd, Renault committed to manufacture 80,000 vehicles annually in France, part of the deal with the Japanese alliance partner Nissan and German automaker Daimler, in return for a labor deal. Renault said that it is ‘perfectly legitimate’ for employees to express their concerns but that an agreement must be reached soon.

“But we need to stay focused on the commitments we’ve made and want to obtain in the framework of a deal,” Leclercq said, “precisely to avoid any French site closures.”