Peugeot plans 1,300 French job cuts under new law: union

PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker PSA Group PEUP.PA said on Tuesday it plans to eliminate 1,300 French jobs in 2018 using a new form of voluntary cuts introduced by President Emmanuel Macron.

The departures, roughly equivalent to buyouts, are part of 2,200 voluntary job cuts planned this year, down from 2,670 in 2017, a company spokesman said, confirming comments by a CFTC union representative. The figure excludes thousands of new hires and job eliminations by attrition.

The Peugeot maker is among a first handful of companies to make use of the new flexible labor measures introduced by decree within months of Macron’s election last May.

Unions have criticized the so-called collective contractual termination agreements, which let companies negotiate layoffs without having to prove they are in financial difficulties. Clothes retailer Pimkie is seeking union approval to cut 208 jobs under the new measures.

Besides the voluntary job cuts at PSA, the Paris-based carmaker aims to hire 1,300 workers on permanent French contracts in 2018 along with 2,000 younger staff on internships or time-limited work-study contracts.

“The number of new hires and voluntary outplacements will therefore be balanced,” the company said in a statement.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Laurence Frost; Editing by Leigh Thomas