'Hollande has done nothing – the factory is closing and he hasn't met us'

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It is the first big social test of President François Hollande's new government. The giant French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has announced it is shedding 8,000 jobs, including the closure of a plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois on the outskirts of Paris. Unions have described the news as a “declaration of war”and workers have pledged to fight the factory closure all the way. President Hollande has said the cuts are “unacceptable” and told Peugeot to re-negotiate with employees. But the new government has itself come under fire from workers and unions for not putting enough pressure on the car manufacturer. Mediapart's Rachida El Azzouzi and Ellen Salvi went to Aulnay to meet the workforce.

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Workers and government ministers alike had feared, even expected it. But when giant French car manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën announced it was axing 8,000 jobs in France and closing its plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois on the edge of Paris the news still fell like a bombshell. For workers in some of the country's most deprived areas it means redundancy at a time of high unemployment in France and continuing gloom over the French and European economies. For François Hollande's new socialist government it is the first major social test of its promise to bring “change” to the country and his pledge to focus on jobs and economic growth rather than austerity.