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France’s state rail company and Renault announce mass layoffs

Paris, Sep 17 (Prensa Latina) France's state-owned rail company (SNCF) on Friday announced cuts between 2,000 and 3,000 jobs, a few hours after the carmaker Renault informed a similar measure.

The same day that the SNCF celebrated the 40th anniversary of the commissioning of the first high-speed TGV trains, its director general, Pierre Farandou, announced a restructuring plan for the company that could involve a reduction from 1.5 to 2 percent of the workforce, on a total of 140,000 workers.

Farandou justified the decision as a way of adapting to the opening up of French rails to competition, and considered that ‘it is not a drama when you compare yourself with other companies.’

A few hours earlier, Renault announced the elimination of 2,000 jobs in the country, ‘as part of the restructuring of its engineering and support activities, as well as the production in France of new vehicles as part of its electric shift.’

This reduction in the labor force, announced at the opening of negotiations with the unions for the 2022-2024 social agreement, will be added to 4,600 jobs that will be eliminated, as projected in 2020, in an effort to refloat the group.