France: PSA uses labor law to sack workers, boost working times in Vesoul plant
22 May 2018
Using the Socialist Party’s (PS) labor law and French President Emmanuel Macron’s labor decrees, automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroën and the trade unions are negotiating plans to sack hundreds of workers and boost working times. The unions are isolating workers in Vesoul while organizing a few token protests—allowing PSA to push through deep attacks on wage levels by imposing them one plant at a time.
In a communiqué, the Stalinist General Confederation of Labor (CGT) wrote: “Management has just proposed to the trade union organizations, through a local agreement, to go back on the 35-hour work week by augmenting effective labor time by 7.8 percent, going from 7 hours to 7 hours 33 minutes per day, that is 35 hours to 37 hours 45 minutes per week.” However, there would only be a “2.8 percent raise in salaries.”
The corporation announced that its project includes plans for automatic job cuts at the rate of 150 full time workers per year until 2020. A PSA spokesman claimed that PSA’s objective is to “guarantee the future of the plant” in Vesoul that builds and stores car parts, which “must continue to transform itself in order to pursue the development of its activities” in a “particularly competitive environment.”
According to the CGT, “this first attack on the Vesoul site prepares a series of attacks on all of the factories of the corporation. This challenge to the 35-hour workweek at one of France’s largest industrial firms is a message sent to all workers in every enterprise in this country.” It added, “Faithful to its policies, PSA is losing no time to implement the new laws undermining the collective rights of workers, such as…