Va Va Gloom

Posted on 11 Sep 2008 by The Manufacturer

Renault workers in France are striking today in protest against the car giant’s announcement that 6,000 jobs will be cut.

The automotive firm employs 134,000 across the globe including 41,700 in France. That latter figure will be depleted by 4,900 soon and a further 1,100 across Europe will also lose their jobs.

A spokesman for the union, the Confédération Générale du Travail, said: “The sickness at Renault today isn’t that there are too many employees. The problem is that demand is weak.”

He urged the firm to concentrate on providing more models suited to the current market climate of smaller, cheaper, more efficient vehicles instead of looking to save through redundancies.

The company announced the move on Tuesday when it also said it will be investing £1.4 billion into the Megane compact hatchback. They called the cuts a ‘voluntary departure plan’.

Renault said staff who choose to go before the end of the year will receive six months’ salary as well as their contractual redundancy pay; staff who leave before February next year will get four months’ and those leaving after that will get three. Anyone who wants to start up his own business will get training assistance and up to €12,000.

Workers from outside the EU will get between 15-24 months’ if they “consider the plan an opportunity to return to their home country.”

“Our aim is to assist employees who wish to depart voluntarily so that they leave Renault with a well-defined and operational plan,” said Gérard Leclercq, Renault’s head of group HR. “We wish to put in place everything necessary to facilitate their transition to a new activity under the best possible circumstances”

The company said they will continue to negotiate with unions over packages.