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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: PSA: le rapport Sartorius valide les 8000 suppressions d’emploi

by Stéphane Guérard

Sartorius Report OKs 8000 Layoffs at Peugeot

Translated Saturday 15 September 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Bill Scoble

The report to the government on the financial situation of PSA Peugeot Citroën says that the automaker cannot do without the announced restructuring plan, while deploring the corporation’s decision to shutter the Aulnay site and not the Madrid site in order to reduce production capacity. The PSA Aulnay autoworkers will decide on how they will mobilize against the closing of the plant in a general assembly on Sept. 11.

In the report, which Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg presented to the trade unions and to the concerned elected officials on Sept. 11, the expert, Emmanuel Sartorius, does not question the economic reasons which the management of the auto corporation used to justify the reorganization plan, which foresees axing 8,000 jobs and shutting down the Aulnay-sous-Bois plant in 2014.

Underlining “a difficult situation” due to the plummeting European auto market and its generalist auto manufacturer profile, the expert, who was named by the government to analyze the vast layoff plan explains: “The necessity, in its principle, of a plan to reorganize industrial activities and to reduce staff is, unfortunately, uncontestable. For the time being, PSA must urgently put the situation right.”

Marginal reservations

However the study, which was handed in on the morning of Sept. 11 to Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg, points out that the PSA management “must also convince that its plan to restructure its financial equilibrium is a token of long-term recovery.” Among its reservations, the Sartorius report regrets that the decision to shutter the Aulnay-sous-Bois factory in the Paris suburbs, “a painful choice for France,” was not the result of a general reflection on the future of the corporation’s industrial sites.

“’PSA’s management) quickly dismisses the possibility of closing its Madrid factory, which, however, suffers from many problems,” the report adds.

The document adds that the priority of the plan presented by management cannot be to aim solely at reducing losses by slashing expenditures. Emmanuel Sartorius also expects commitments from management so that “the perspective of another plan in the near or less near future” can be ruled out.

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