June 15, 2020 / 2:17 PM / a month ago

Carmaker PSA cuts back on transfer of Polish workers to French plant

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French car manufacturer Peugeot is seen at the 33th Auto Zurich Car Show in Zurich, Switzerland, Oct. 31, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s PSA (PEUP.PA), the maker of Peugeot cars, on Monday said it would only transfer a small group of Polish workers to help out in a French plant where production is being increased, following a backlash over the knock-on effect for local jobs.

Like rival auto firms, PSA is gradually cranking up its manufacturing capacity again following a shutdown caused by the coronavirus crisis.

But an initial plan to transfer salaried PSA workers from one of its Opel factories in Poland to work in France, rather than take on local temporary staff, who often pitch in at the plant, sparked criticism from unions and the French government.

PSA now planned to have a team of 2,000 in place at the Hordain factory made up of local workers, including temporary ones, while 5% of the total staff would be employees from other sites, including Poland, the carmaker said.

The CGT union put the number of Polish workers at 124, down from the 500 originally due to arrive for a stint in France.

France’s economy is expected to shrink 11% this year, with big job losses following the pandemic and ensuing lockdown, heightening sensitivity over labour wrangling.

Reporting by Sarah White; editing by David Evans

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