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Anti-Peugeot ad pulled

Plans by Amicus and T&G to extend the Peugeot boycott campaign to radio have been dashed by a law that specifically forbids trade unions from mentioning employers or industrial disputes.

The radio ad would have had a similar theme to the posters and newspaper ads which ask car buyers to “think of England” and support the sacked Peugeot Ryton workers facing redundancy.

Section 15 of the Radio Advertising Standards code limits trade unions to advertising their services to members and expressly prevents them from making statements about disputes or from stating facts about employers.

The ad that was to run four times a day on various independent radio stations throughout August will now never be aired.

The unions have pledged to step up their campaign against the closure of Peugeot’s Ryton plant with a day of action on Saturday. Trade union members will demonstrate and distribute leaflets outside Peugeot dealerships across the country.

Amicus general secretary Derek Simpson said: “It is outrageous that trade unions are prevented from explaining to the public the simple fact that Peugeot have sacked 2,000 people from a profitable plant in the Coventry in search of ever greater profits by exploiting low wages in Eastern Europe.

“We want to give consumers who are interested in making ethical car purchases the information they need to do this. They need to know how Peugeot have behaved but we can’t tell them. Amicus will raise this injustice with the Government at the highest level.”

T&G general secretary Tony Woodley said: “The public need to know we are fighting back with our members in Peugeot against the closure of a profitable car plant. They need to know the unions have put forward positive plans to save the factory which Peugeot has ignored. And the public need to know there is support from industry experts and, now, show business for our campaign. The law has gagged us from saying this on the radio, but we’ll say it all the same.”

The decision to close the Ryton plant in Coventry was made in April.

The plant will be brought to a close in two stages. It currently operates two shifts, which will be moved to a single shift in July. Production will not continue beyond July next year. The company said it will work with trade unions and the Government to provide support packages for its staff.

  • The radio ad featured the voices of actors from the EastEnders and Coronation Street and Where the Heart Is.
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