PARIS, Sept. 28 (Reuters) – Two main unions at Stellantis (STLA.MI) on Tuesday criticized the way the automaker is implementing a holiday program aimed at mitigating the impact of a drop in production caused by a shortage world of chips.
Stellantis and other automakers have been hit by a series of supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including chips that are key components in automotive manufacturing. Stellantis extended production shutdowns in several European factories at the end of August.
The French leave agreement, concluded by four unions at Stellantis, allows the company to reduce the number of hours worked by staff affected by the shortage of chips. The state reimburses the company for part of the hours lost, allowing workers to receive the bulk of their wages provided they are retrained and not made redundant.
After a regular monthly meeting with management on Tuesday, union representatives said too many employees were being put on leave.
Anh-Quan Nguyen, a representative of the white-collar union CFE-CGC, said his union was concerned that France’s relatively generous leave conditions mean that a disproportionate number of workers are put on partial leave compared to other operations. Stellantis outside of France.
“White collar workers have to go on short-time work even though there is a lot of work to be done. It makes no sense, ”Anh-Quan Nguyen told Reuters.
Another union, CFDT, said the company had not offered sufficiently developed options for training opportunities.
Force Ouvrière, another union that struck the leave deal, which is Stellantis’ largest union, said it was on alert for signs the company was putting too many workers on leave whose roles do not were not directly related to production.
A spokeswoman for Stellantis, responding to the CFE-CGC complaint, said short-time working arrangements were not limited to assembly lines.
“The whole company is involved in (…) the objective of ensuring sustainability in the context of the semiconductor crisis, electrification and compliance with CO2 regulations”, a- she declared.
Stellantis said there is no similar leave program in place within the group elsewhere in Europe.
Stellantis, born out of the merger between PSA and FCA, predicted this summer that it would produce 1.4 million fewer vehicles this year due to the chip shortage.
In France, under the leave scheme, workers give up on average one working day per week.
Workers and their supervisors receive 84% of their take-home pay, with the state paying Stellantis an allowance equal to 60% of a worker’s gross pay for days off.
Stellantis and the unions agreed to the leave scheme for an initial period of up to six months, although the agreement could be extended for three years.
(This story has been passed on to add “in France” to the title)
Report by Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Richard Lough and Jane Merriman
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