Unions urge Peugeot boycott

Unions are urging British people not to buy Peugeot and Citroen cars because the French firm plans to close its Ryton plant in Coventry.

Amicus and the T&G unions will launch a million pound campaign against Peugeot-Citroen with national newspaper advertisements encouraging people not to buy their cars on Friday.

In April, Peugeot-Citroen announced plans to close the Coventry factory next year, with the direct loss of 2,300 jobs, in order to move production to France and low-wage Slovakia.

Both unions want the French firm to keep the Ryton plant open on the basis of the survival plan developed by the unions.

The campaign will be launched tomorrow with full page adverts in 'The Mirror' and 'The Guardian' newspapers and the unions will also place a series of adverts in trade, regional and national press and run boards on 48 sheet advertising hoardings close to Peugeot and Citroen dealers, appealing to the UK public to support UK workers by choosing not to buy Peugeot or Citroen cars.

The unions have also appealed to the UK's seven million trade union members to boycott Peugeot and Citroen.

Derek Simpson, General Secretary of Amicus, said: "Companies that seek to sell in Britain should build in Britain.

"We believe that the wider British public will want to send a powerful message to companies like Peugeot that are prepared to close profitable and productive plants here in the UK and lay off loyal, skilled and hard working employees and a drop in sales will really hit them where it hurts.

"We need to draw a line in the sand and say to companies that behave in this way that there will be consequences for their actions."

T&G General Secretary Tony Woodley said: "The unions have produced a robust plan which could provide a profitable future for the Ryton plant. Peugeot is motivated by sheer greed and needs to understand that there will be painful consequences if they shut up shop in Britain in this fashion.

"If they refuse to talk, and our members who will still be working at the plant after immediate forthcoming redundancies want our support, we will fund a campaign to make the public aware of this corporate betrayal, and if this hits Peugeot in the wallet, so be it."

The unions are also campaigning for the strengthening of UK labour laws to stop workers here being more vulnerable to redundancy than those on the continent where they have stronger employment protection.

The move comes after union members rejected calls for strike action earlier this week.


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