PARIS Oct 2 French trainmaker Alstom's
historic Belfort production site in eastern France is
set to be "saved" from closure at a meeting with labour unions
next week, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Sunday.
Eager to avoid a high-profile industrial shutdown seven
months before a presidential election, the Socialist government
has promised a plan to keep production going at the factory,
which makes locomotives and built Alstom's first steam engines
in the 1880s and 40 years ago the first of its high-speed TGV
Government representatives and unions are due to meet on
Tuesday to discuss ways to prevent the site's closure after the
company announced on Sept. 7 it planned to transfer production
to another site due to insufficient orders.
"Tuesday we will save Alstom's site in Belfort," Valls said
in an interview on LCI TV on Sunday.
He said France's junior industry minister Christophe Sirugue
would propose various concrete options such as government
Under Alstom's plan 400 jobs are due to be transferred from
Belfort to its other sites in France as it winds down production
there, keeping it only for repair and maintenance work.
Alstom Chief Executive Henri Poupart-Lafarge has said that
it has little choice but to shift production from Belfort
because of a dearth of new French train orders.
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Greg Mahlich)