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Poissy Peugeot Plant: “Temporary Workers to Go”

Translated Sunday 2 February 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

Management at the PSA Poissy plant have confirmed that a 684-person assembly line team will be eliminated. “Without layoffs,” management states, but the CGT says that at least that many temporary workers will go.

From March 24, factory management will eliminate one of two teams assigned to building the Peugeot 208 model on line two, where 1,382 employees work. The downsizing was confirmed at the works council meeting on the morning of Jan. 30. In all, 684 workers are concerned, “but this isn’t shedding of jobs, there won’t be any layoffs,” a factory spokesman stated.

On the contrary, this announcement indeed represents “700 layoffs” according to the CGT trade union, which held a press conference in the staff parking lot. “The temporary workers are going to suffer and will be laid off,” Farid Borsali, the general secretary of the trade union at the factory, said, condemning the move. He fears “similarities with Aulnay,” the factory PSA closed in suburban Paris.

According to management’s plan, 550 out of 684 workers will “mostly be reclassified to line one,” to “up the pace” of production of the DS3, the DS3 convertible, and the C3 models, for which “sales demand is very strong.” “Some workers” will be reclassified to the other line two team, which “will continue to make 208 models,” and “a group of about 100 people” will be severed via “senior measures” (senior holidays, generation contracts) and voluntary departures.

As a consequence of this announcement, by March, there will only remain “150 to 200 temporary workers following deconstruction of the team” – out of 880 temps at present – as temporary job contracts run out, management states. For management, these measures will make it possible to “bolster the commitments the corporation has made regarding Poissy,” a factory that will be turning out 250,000 cars a year in 2016.

But the CGT fears a total of “1400 jobs will be eliminated,” because at a previous works council meeting, talk was of stopping the whole of assembly line two, and not just half. The trade union fears that this announcement will be confirmed at a future works council meeting. According to this scenario, all models will be made on a single line operating on a “mono-stream” basis.

At a time when the French government is preparing to take a stake in PSA, “We’re questioning the government and Arnaud Montebourg to find out what they think of all this,” Frédéric Hemery, the deputy general secretary of the CGT, said.

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