PARIS/LILLE – Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen were both hit by strikes on Thursday as both French car makers eye moves to cut costs and boost productivity amid slumping sales.
A single production line at Peugeot's Aulnay plant on the outskirts of Paris, slated to be closed in 2014 at the cost of 3,000 jobs, ground to a halt after five workers were summoned for lack of productivity, a representative of the CGT union said in a phone interview.
"The strike was extended to the evening team and a third negotiating meeting has been planned, but production has been halted," CGT representative Jean-Pierre Mercier said.
A company spokesman said that production on other lines at the plant had been slowed but not halted entirely.
Peugeot has pledged to offer jobs elsewhere to about half of the workers to be laid off at Aulnay, but unions at its factory in Rennes, western France, where layoffs are also planned, say that some promised job offers elsewhere will not be available until the first quarter of 2014.
At Renault, two French factories were also hit by work stoppages, separate union sources said.
The walkouts came as the car maker was locked in another day of labor talks over its demand that workers agree to moves to cut production costs in line with countries such as Spain.
The next negotiation session on the productivity measures, which Renault said are necessary to keep jobs in France, was set for December 11.
(Reporting By Gilles Guillaume and Pierre Savary; Editing by David Goodman)