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French workers protest at threatened factory after Renault announces 15,000 job cuts

FRENCH trade unionists protested outside Renault’s factory in the Paris suburb of Choisy-le-Roi today as the car giant said it would shut the plant and cut 15,000 jobs worldwide, 4,600 of them in France.

Workers carried banners reading “No to Shutdown” and staged a protest walkout over the plans, which come just days after ministers revealed a scheme to bail out the automotive industry in return for a shift towards electric vehicles and keeping production in France.

Company chairman Jean-Dominique Sneard said “each cost cut has been weighed at length with employees in mind” and that there would be no sackings. The company was beginning talks with unions, he said.

But Renault CGT rep Fabien Gache said the plans could affect the future of a number of plants and showed “a very clear intention to wipe definitively from France vehicle-production capacities.”

“Now people are a bit stunned,” he said. “We need to find ways to protest and oppose the plan.”

Mr Gache said that cuts at Renault would lead to many more job losses among suppliers and equipment manufacturers.

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