Peugeot Restructuring Needs Discussion, Industry Minister Says

PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG) needs to discuss with the government its plan to cut as many as 8,000 jobs and close a plant, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in an interview on Europe 1.

“We don’t accept the plan as it is,” Montebourg said. “We believe that there have to be restructuring steps, but that the measures that are currently proposed don’t appear to us to be of the sort to bring back Peugeot.”

Peugeot’s “difficulties exist, they’re real, it’s necessary to take steps toward recovery,” he said. “I’ve never hidden that from the employees, to be honest, it will be difficult.”

His remarks come the day after he announced “tripartite” talks led by himself and Labor Minister Michel Sapin with Peugeot management and unions on Oct. 25 after talking to worker representatives at the Paris auto show yesterday.

Laurence Parisot, who heads French business organization Medef, spoke on Europe 1 just before Montebourg’s interview. She criticized his “excessively interventionist” approach and warned against the minster “meddling in” a conversation that should take place just between Peugeot management and workers.

“We can’t, in a great country like France, stay in our offices,” Montebourg said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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