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Peugeot cuts delayed by new court challenge

A company logo is seen on a Peugeot car parked in Paris, February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
A company logo is seen on a Peugeot car parked in Paris, February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

By Gilles Guillaume

PARIS (Reuters) - PSA Peugeot Citroen has delayed implementation of its crucial restructuring plan following a new court challenge, the French carmaker said.

Peugeot postponed a key works council meeting by 10 days to April 29, effectively pushing back the closure of the carmaker's Aulnay plant near Paris and the loss of 8,000 jobs.

The French carmaker rescheduled the meeting after the Paris high court said it would rule on April 26 in a case brought by the leftwing SUD union to halt the plan, announced last July.

"Under the circumstances, the company has decided to put off the works council meeting," a Peugeot spokesman said.

Chief Executive Philippe Varin is struggling to reduce Peugeot's fixed costs and excess capacity amid a collapse in the European auto market.

The company's survival plan requires it to stem mounting losses by the end of next year.

A majority of unions, except the hardline CGT, have backed the restructuring plan but the SUD union is arguing that terms for workers leaving Aulnay are inadequate.

The Peugeot plan has already been held up once by another court which is expected to lift an order suspending the cuts on Thursday following additional worker consultations demanded by the CGT at 57 percent-owned parts unit Faurecia .

(Additional reporting by Laurence Frost; editing by David Cowell)

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