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29 May, 2020 08:44

Renault workers protest automaker's plan to axe nearly 15,000 jobs

Renault workers protest automaker's plan to axe nearly 15,000 jobs

Workers have gathered outside the Renault plant in the suburbs of Paris after the company revealed plans to lay off 15,000 employees worldwide, with around a third of the cuts in France, as part of its €2 billion cost-saving plan.

The rally was held outside one of the company's plants in Choisy-le-Roi on Friday. It comes just one day after people burned tires outside a Nissan facility in Barcelona to protest the plant’s closure. The two automakers are part of a longstanding alliance which also includes Mitsubishi Motors.

The Choisy-le-Roi plant, which reportedly employs about 250 people, turned out to be the only site Renault plans to close. The planned closure was announced at a Friday news conference by Jean-Dominique Senard, chairman of the board of directors of Renault. He said that Choisy-le-Roi activities will be transferred to other facilities in the Paris region. It was earlier feared that the carmaker was set to cease operations at several French plants.

Earlier in the day, the French carmaker presented a draft restructuring plan containing measures including job cuts and lowering production capacity by almost a fifth. The cutbacks are intended to save Renault €2 billion over three years as it struggles to cope with the major crisis facing the automotive industry. The measures will affect just under 10 percent of the company’s global workforce – nearly 4,600 posts will be reduced in France, with more than 10,000 additional positions eliminated elsewhere.

Also on rt.com Nissan workers in Barcelona stage massive protest over factory closure plans

“In a context of uncertainty and complexity, this project is vital to guarantee a solid and sustainable performance, with customer satisfaction as a priority,” Clotilde Delbos, Renault’s interim chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Apart from cutting jobs, the French group, which is 15-percent-owned by the government, said that it wants to reorganize activities at some of its plants, including those located in Flins and Guyancourt, while other plants will face “a strategic review.”

The major plan also suggests that Renault’s global production capacity will fall to 3.3 million vehicles in 2024, down from the current four million. Renault will also have to suspend its expansion plans in Morocco and Romania, and it will conduct a “study of the adaptation” of its production capacities in Russia.

Also on rt.com Sinking alliance? Coronavirus puts Renault’s existence in question & threatens 20,000 jobs at Nissan

Renault has been seeking a €5 billion state-guaranteed loan to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. While the French government recognizes that the company may “disappear” amid the crisis, it has not approved the deal so far. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire earlier said that the decision on the funds depends on the company’s commitments, including on electric vehicles, fair treatment of subcontractors and keeping hi-tech activities at home.

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