PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen (PEUP.PA) plans to cut 5,000 jobs in France, an official from the CGT union said on Tuesday, suggesting a higher proportion of layoffs in the automaker’s home country than previously disclosed.
Jean-Pierre Mercier, union representative at Peugeot’s factory in the Paris suburb of Seine-Saint Denis, said 1,900 French manufacturing jobs would be cut, along with another 3,100 in areas like sales, information technology and research and development.
“The group’s international development can’t be carried out by cutting our jobs here given that we’re the ones who created PSA’s wealth,” Mercier said on the sidelines of a works council meeting.
Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the meeting, which took place at Peugeot’s Paris headquarters near the Arc de Triomphe.
Peugeot declined to comment on the cuts. Previously the automaker, has said that no full-time workers in France would be fired.
Peugeot last month warned its core car making business would barely make money this year and announced 6,000 layoffs across Europe, including 1,000 manufacturing jobs and 2,500 contractor positions.
It said at the time that the other 2,500 job cuts would come mainly in sales, marketing, IT and R&D.
Left Party presidential candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon issued a statement blaming credit ratings agencies for the decision, noting that Moody’s had recently lowered Peugeot’s credit rating to negative.
“The result: even though the company’s profits rose 18 percent in the first half of 2011, the owner throws thousands of workers into the streets to ‘reassure the markets’,” said Melenchon, who is politically to the left of Socialist Party standard-bearer Francois Hollande.
Reporting By Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Lionel Laurent and Hans-Juergen Peters