Later this month French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen is expected to announce the closure of its historic Paris plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois, spelling deep trouble for the 3,300 strong workforce and the already disadvantaged surrounding region.
When asked about the seemingly inevitable closure of their car plant workers at the threatened factory in northern Paris had one word in mind — “disaster”. Local officials from the already deprived Seine-Saint-Denis region around the threatened PSA Peugeot Citroën factory echoed that exact sentiment.
With hundreds, if not thousands, facing the prospect of having to join lengthening queues at job centres in an area already blighted by high unemployment, it is easy to understand their choice of words.
The scale of the “disaster” will become clear in the coming days, with PSA Peugeot Citroën expected to announce further details of its cost cutting plan, which could see the loss of up to 10,000 job nationwide.
The widely held assumption is that the company, which made €588 million net profit last year, will close its landmark factory at Aulnay-sous-Bois, which was built in 1973 and currently employs 3,300 people.
The storm clouds have been gathering over the factory ever since unions found a memo from directors last year revealing a “secret plan” to close the plant. D-day is approaching with workers set to find out their fate on July 12 in what will be a highly charged meeting with bosses. The anxiety has already started to take its toll.