World News

Car maker PSA wants to restart two French plants, unions disagree

PARIS (Reuters) – French car maker PSA, <PEUP.PA> which makes the Peugeot and Citroen brands, said on Friday it had presented health measures to its unions with a view to gradually restarting its European plants, which have been closed for fear of coronavirus infection.

PSA, which has suspended production in all its European plants until March 27, did not give a target date for restarting production, but said that two pilot plants in Valenciennes and Douvrin, in northern France, could possibly restart from early April with volunteers. Its unions said that was too soon.

“The health measures are quite robust, but the time has not yet come. We consider that restarting work would be premature as long as the peak of the epidemic is not behind us,” said Sebastien Leroy, CFTC union member at the gearbox manufacturing plant in Valenciennes.

PSA aims to restart the Douvrin engines plant on April 3 and Valenciennes on March 30.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by GV De Clercq; Editing by Alex Richardson)