Renault Workers Protest Planned Job Cuts

Renault plans to cut 4,000 jobs in France

Workers at French carmaker Renault walked off the job at some factories on Sept. 11 to protest a plan to cut 4,000 jobs in France.The CGT union called for the strike action.

Renault said the strikes did not affect all of its factories while union officials said disruptions lasted one or two hours.

Workers were protesting a plan unveiled on Sept. 9 for the voluntary departure of 4,000 employees in France by April next year and an additional 2,000 job cuts expected elsewhere in Europe.

Renault, which currently employs 41,000 people in France, is struggling to overcome the effects of a sluggish domestic and European market. The cuts could lead to savings of 350 million euros (US$497 million) in 2009 and 500 million in 2010, according to the carmaker.

At the Douai factory in northern France, which employes 5,600 people, a management spokesman said only a "dozen" workers were taking part in the strike while union officials declined to give figures. Some 1,500 people stand to lose their jobs at Douai.

Union officials said 20% of the staff at the Cleon factory near the western city of Rouen walked off the job for two hours. The factory employs 4,500 people. Renault officials said fewer than 10% of staff at Cleon had walked off the job and that fewer than 7% of workers had taken part elsewhere.

CGT spokesman Fabien Gache said he was "mostly satisfied" with participation in the protests held as management met with employees to outline the number of jobs to be cut at every factory.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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