Stellantis has come under fire from its union for sending employees in France job postings, links to career fairs and tips on how to write winning resumes. The problem? The workers are starting not to feel wanted because the postings are actually for work with other companies.
Estimates vary on how many jobs will be lost in the transition from complex internal combustion vehicles to relatively mechanically simple EVs, but it’s certain that the latter require fewer workers to assemble. As a result, all major automakers are being forced to make decisions about their workforces.
Those decisions are particularly difficult in western Europe, where workers are well represented by unions. That’s likely what led Stellantis to try and encourage its French workforce to find work elsewhere.
Stellantis, which was formed by the merger of the Italian-American conglomerate FCA and the French PSA Group, apparently put a little too much effort into the push, though, and union representatives are accusing management of sending so many emails that they’re calling it harassment, per Bloomberg.
“This is not a good way to motivate people to work hard for the company,” Christine Virassamy, a representative for the CFDT union told the outlet. “We have asked them to let up.”
According to Autonews, when asked about these emails promoting jobs outside Stellantis, a company spokesperson said that they’re intended to help out those who might be interested in a voluntary departure scheme.
The multinational automaker that owns 14 different brands employs 300,000 people globally, 45,000 of whom are in France. That country alone is estimated to lose as many as 10,000 auto industry jobs in the switch to electric vehicles.
The company began talks with French unions on February 1 and together they created a two-year plan for 2,600 voluntary job cuts. Union leaders have said that downsizing is likely to continue at that pace until 2025. Together with early departures of more senior staff, the total number of departures could reach 8,000, according to the union, though Stellantis flatly denied that number.
While Stellantis, like other automakers, will seek to move some employees into other sectors of its business like software development, it won’t be able to retrain all of them. Unfortunately for them, the downsizing will be particularly bad at engine plants, though some are expected to join battery-producing joint ventures.