Warsaw, Poland – Under pressure from the French government, French carmaker PSA came back on its decision to bring hundreds of Polish workers to France to help with the ramp-up of production after a weeks-long shutdown caused by the coronavirus.
The decision to transfer 500 workers from its Gliwice factory in Poland to its Hordain factory in northern France, instead of hiring temporary workers locally, was heavily criticised by trade unions as well as by the French government.
The French carmaker announced it was now working on an alternative solution that would involve creating a team comprised mainly of temporary workers, substituting a significant number of the Polish workers.
“We understand the emotion that this caused in the context of what the country is going through and are working on an alternative solution,” the spokesman said in a statement sent to Reuters.
124 Polish workers are still expected to be transferred to the French factory, significantly fewer than initially announced.
France’s largest employer federation however expressed its doubts over the backtrack. “It is a complex issue, because it concerns European solidarity”, said its president on French radio.
“These workers are currently underemployed in Poland where there is now a risk that there will be a redundancy plan,” he added, stressing that the PSA project planned to pay Polish workers French wages.
The Hordain factory makes car parts for Peugeot, Citroën, Vauxhall and Toyota.