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Peugeot Considers Offering Early Retirement in France

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Europe’s second-largest carmaker, is proposing an early-retirement plan for French workers to trim costs and return to profit.

In talks with unions today, the company offered paid leave for as long as 18 months for workers retiring early, Christian Lafaye, the leader of FO union at the Paris-based company, said in a phone interview. Financing for the plan hasn’t yet been discussed, he said.

Peugeot, which reported a 576 million-euro ($761 million) operating loss last year, has started to implement a restructuring plan that includes closing a factory on the outskirts of Paris and eliminating 11,200 positions in France. Peugeot’s home country accounted for 40 percent of the company’s production last year.

The manufacturer started talks with French unions on May 29 to reach a “social contract” with workers that would help the company increase productivity at its plants.

Peugeot employed 204,287 people at the end of last year, with 46 percent being based in France. About 27 percent of Peugeot’s automotive workers are at least 50 years old, according to company data.

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