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Unions to picket Peugeot dealerships in protest against plant closure

Thousands of union activists are to picket Peugeot and Citroen dealerships across the UK this Saturday to protest against the planned closure of the company’s Ryton plant in Coventry.

Amicus and the T&G are coordinating protests outside selected UK Peugeot and Citroen franchises to encourage people not to buy the company’s cars. Unions want to build pressure on the company via its dealerships and consumers to reverse its decision to close the UK plant and move production to Slovakia.

The unions are also funding a million pound poster and newspaper advertising campaign asking people to boycott Peugeot cars in favour of cars built here in the UK.

Amicus’ general secretary, Derek Simpson, said: “This is a wake up call for the company - they are jeopardising their sales and their reputation by pushing ahead with their plans to close Ryton.

“We believe that consumers will want to punish them for their decision to close their profitable and productive UK site and consign 2,300 workers to the dole. Peugeot depend on UK sales so they have to show a commitment to UK workers.

“Our campaign should serve as a warning to other companies too. We will attack them in the same way if they decide to abandon their UK bases and workforces.”

Amicus and the T&G have presented Peugeot with a survival plan they say can save Ryton. The unions say they believe that the company has already made up its’ mind and plans to close the plant even earlier than the summer 2007 close date it originally gave.

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.

  • Plans by Amicus and T&G to extend the Peugeot boycott campaign to radio were dashed at the start of this week after a law specifically forbidded them from mentioning employers or industrial disputes.
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