Renault, the French car maker, has announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs (without taking account of its subsidiaries, with staff not directly involved in production).
The group will offer a wide range of incentives to encourage 3,000 workers to opt for voluntary redundancy, including an improved retirement package and financial aid to help employees to be redeployed or to set up a business.
Unions at the company are hoping to secure better redundancy terms between now and the group's next central Works Council meeting, scheduled for 1 October 2008. Trade unions called employees of Renault to stage a strike on 11 September in protest against the French carmaker's plans to axe 4,000 jobs. The strike is a protest against the group's plans to cut 3,000 jobs and to eliminate an extra 1,000 at its plant in Sandouville. Unions claim the move cannot be justified by the group's desire to reassure shareholders and to guarantee its target operating margin of 6 per cent for 2009. The job cuts will cost the company EUR 250 millions and will reduce the wage bill by 550 millions euros, a saving unions claim could instead be made and even surpassed by freezing less than half of the group's shareholder dividend in 2009, equivalent to 1.3 billion euros. Chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn said in July 2008 that Renault had reduced its 2009 vehicle sales target by 10 per cent and planned to cut 4,000 jobs in France and 2,000 elsewhere in Europe to meet profit goals amid soaring raw material costs and flagging European auto markets.
Information on the job cuts at Renault in France and Europe is available on the European Industrial Relations Observatory (EIRO).
As reported, France has applied for assistance from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).