Most European unions express support for Fiat Chrysler-PSA merger

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Fifteen of 17 European trade unions representing employees at French automaker Groupe PSA on Tuesday voiced support for its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

The special meeting of PSA's European Works Council is a part of the company's ongoing employee consultation process, PSA spokesman Bertrand Blaise said in an email. An FCA-PSA combination seeks to become the fourth-largest automaker in the world with the scale to invest in future technologies

Only France-based CGT cast an unfavorable opinion. German metalworking union IG Metall abstained. Representatives for the unions could be not be reached Tuesday morning.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of France's Groupe PSA, is joining Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV in proposing the global auto industry's latest cultural mash-up.

As a part of an initial statement last month on the merger discussion, the companies emphasized $4.1 billion in annual savings expected from a combination "are not based on any plant closures."

An FCA spokeswoman said the company did not have any additional comments beyond statements previously made on the merger.

In the United States, the United Auto Workers have not responded to requests for comment on the proposed merger. The UAW is in the middle of labor talks with Fiat Chrysler.

The majority favorable opinion from PSA's European unions comes less than a week after General Motors Co. filed a racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, claiming a multimillion-dollar conspiracy that included bribes corrupted three rounds of bargaining with the United Auto Workers. Such aggressive action could slow talks between Fiat Chrysler and PSA, experts have said.

But Blaise maintained the companies "are continuing their work to finalize discussions and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding in the coming weeks," echoing remarks by Fiat Chrysler representatives last week.

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble