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* Peugeot cuts approved by four of six unions
* CFDT also expected to sign plan - officials
* Protestors clash with police in front of Peugeot HQ
PARIS, March 18 French carmaker PSA Peugeot
Citroen won majority union support for restructuring
plans on Monday, as protesting workers clashed with police in
front of its Paris headquarters.
Four of Peugeot's six unions approved the measures, which
include thousands of job cuts and a factory closure, and a fifth
grouping is expected to sign the agreement, the struggling
carmaker and workers' representatives said.
The works council backed the restructuring plan by 15 votes
to four, with one abstention.
The vote "clears the way for a rapid signing of the accord",
Peugeot spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mounier said.
Peugeot, the mass automaker worst hit by Europe's market
slump, is struggling to cut costs and lift sales in an effort to
return to profit in 2015. The measures announced last July have
earmarked its Aulnay plant near Paris for closure and increased
the number of planned job cuts to more than 10,000.
Workers and their representatives are divided over the plans
amid mounting tensions between strikers at Aulnay and staff
still reporting for shifts.
"We're calling on the minority of workers continuing to
block Aulnay to rejoin those who are working for Peugeot's
future," Peugeot manufacturing chief Denis Martin said.
Concerns about intimidation and violence among workers last
month prompted a majority of unions to back moves to begin
winding down the plant ahead of schedule.
About 200 striking workers, including leftwing CGT union
supporters from Aulnay, were involved in stand-offs with police
outside Peugeot headquarters as Monday's meeting got under way.
The CGT and CFDT representatives voted against the
restructuring, while FO, SIA, CGC and CFTC officials voted in
favour, unions said. The restructuring has split the CFDT, which
is nonetheless expected to sign the plan.
The CGT said in a statement that it had identified
procedural irregularities in the agreement and vowed to "contest
the validity of this consultation by any means necessary".
Peugeot will begin implementing the cuts and further worker
transfers between sites only after the next works council
meeting scheduled for late April, spokesman Mounier said.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Jane Merriman and