Threatened French auto parts workers in election spotlight

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 10, 2017 12:15 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - Workers from a threatened French auto parts factory have secured a meeting with Finance Ministry officials and their main carmaker clients, Renault and PSA Group, after a union delegation accosted President Emmanuel Macron.

The fate of the small company, GM&S, is in the spotlight as a test of the new president's economic interventionism in the run-up to parliamentary elections that begin on Sunday, with a second round scheduled for June 18.

Union officials from the plant, which employs 277 staff stamping metal parts in the central Creuse region, said on Saturday they would hold talks at the ministry next week.

Macron, seeking a majority for his recently created Republic on the Move (LREM) party after winning the presidential election last month, met a GM&S workers' delegation during a visit to the neighboring Haute-Vienne region on Friday.

"I promise you I will do all I can," he told one of the protesting employees. "But I'm not Father Christmas."

The factory works council has also asked the local bankruptcy court to postpone its next hearing until the end of June to give potential bidders more time to submit offers.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Laurence Frost; Editing by Kevin Liffey)