MAY 01] PEUGEOT NEWS
Peugeot Strike Threat Receding
Peugeot is now confident it has averted a potentially crippling dispute at a time when production of the popular 206 model is building for the summer sales.
The workforce at the French company’s giant plant in Coventry is expected to reverse an earlier ballot by accepting the French company’s improved offer on pay and conditions.
The original offer was rejected by a margin of 34 votes, with 831 in favour and 865 against, but talks were swiftly set up between the company and the unions, when a strike looked likely.
Peugeot conceded ground in the negotiations by agreeing to extend the summer period for annual holidays. It means that ‘blue collar’ workers, who in the past were restricted to the annual Coventry Holiday Fortnight, can now take their holiday at any time in an 8
week peak summer spell.
If the new ballot, the date for which is not yet decided, produces an acceptance vote, pay rises will be backdated to the start of the year.
The workers, voting in February, rejected Peugeot’s initial offer of an immediate 4.3 per cent pay rise, together with an inflation linked rise next year plus 0.7 per cent.
Peugeot also offered to scrap the annual two weeks’ shutdown during which all workers had to take their holidays and offered a six weeks ‘window’ during which holidays could be taken. It is this ‘window’ that has been extended in the new talks.
Union leaders are stressing that the decision whether to accept Peugeot’s latest offer is entirely in the hands of the workers. The full time officers were reporting details of their talks to the factory’s convenors, who in turn were filtering it down through the shop stewards chain of command.
The stewards will decide whether to recommend to the workforce to accept the company’s latest offer and a ballot will be held.
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