* Head of French operations says all options open if no deal
* Renault denies accusation it threatened two plant closures
* Factory production stoppages set
By Gilles Guillaume
PARIS, Jan 23 French carmaker Renault
said workers needed to make concessions on pay and conditions to
safeguard the future of domestic plants.
Gerard Leclercq, Renault's head of French operations, said
on Wednesday that without a deal the company would be forced to
take other action to cut costs.
"If there is no deal, it is impossible to leave things as
they are," Leclercq said in a BFM radio interview. "All options
are open. But, for the moment, there is no plan B."
Renault, which last week unveiled plans to cut 7,500 French
jobs over four years, has denied union accusations it had
threatened to close two plants during the closed-door talks.
Unions were set to carry out a series of production
stoppages at Renault sites around the country on Wednesday in
protest at the company's demands.
On Tuesday, the carmaker offered commitments to build an
additional 80,000 vehicles annually in France for Japanese
alliance partner Nissan and German group Daimler
in return for a labour deal.
The company, which is seeking a longer workweek and
increased flexibility from workers, has previously offered to
guarantee French plants as part of an accord, a negotiating
stance denounced by some unions as "blackmail".
The rising industrial tensions at Renault prompted the
government, its biggest shareholder with a 15 percent stake, to
call upon both sides to negotiate in good faith on Tuesday.
The Renault operations chief said it was "perfectly
legitimate" for workers to express their concerns.
"But we need to stay focused on the commitments we've made
and want to obtain in the framework of a deal," Leclercq said,
"precisely to avoid any French site closures."
(Writing by Laurence Frost; Editing by Mark Potter)