UDI deputy mayor claims “religious pressure” by employees was partly to blame for Peugeot car factory closure

In interviews he gave to France Info and Europe 1 on Wednesday, deputy mayor of Drancy UDI Jean-Christophe Lagarde cited unions, social difficulties and religion as reasons for a Peugeot car plant closure at Aulnay-sous-Bois in 2013.

“Il y a une espèce d’omerta”

Lagarde claimed religious pressure, caused by some Muslim employees who regularly proselytized on the job, had caused an issue between trade unionists and management. The need to stop work for prayer breaks was also cited as being problematic for the plant.

He told Europe 1, “I think this is causing an issue with trade unionists and management because there is a code of silence. I was not looking to break a taboo but I will certainly not silence myself because it exists. I do not believe religion has a place in the work environment.”

PSA Peugeot-Citroën central trade union delegate Jean-Pierre Mercier has denied Lagarde’s claims on Facebook, calling them “rubbish.” Mercier claims the factory’s closure was done for financial reasons and the only time religion ever caused the plant to close was on Christmas Day, Pentecost Monday and August 15th (presumably the French holiday called “Assomption”.)

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