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Workers Set Up The Picket Line At Ryton

Peugeot’s Ryton plant was at a standstill today as workers held a one-day strike over their new contracts.

Around 100 workers formed a picket line outside the plant as union leaders and managers held new talks.

Staff narrowly voted to hold the action against the new contracts, despite the recommendations of the unions that the deal be accepted.

Today is the last day at work for the workers on the Monday to Thursday shift before the three-week shutdown.

If there is no breakthrough there will be an all-out strike from 21 August. The dispute is over changes that could lead to workers being forced to work extra Friday shifts.

Staff on the weekend shift will strike on Sunday.

A Peugeot spokeswoman said the fact that managers and union negotiators were still talking was encouraging.

She said efforts were being made to convince those who had voted against the deal that they should support it.

Union leaders have expressed their fears that industrial action could encourage Peugeot to take jobs away from Britain. The issue has arisen because of the popularity of the Peugeot 206.

But Coventry Socialist councillor Dave Nellist, who this morning joined workers on the picket line, said the workers were fed up with having their hours constantly changed.

Cllr Nellist, who addressed a meeting of workers outside the Torrington Avenue parts depot in tile Hill, said:

"So far everyone seems to have been against the Peugeot workers.

“The management, sections of the media, the New Labour council and even some union officials. But the Socialist Party promises them our full support in their fight to protect their families' lives.

"We are confident that the working people of Coventry will also give them their support, as will workers around the country. We’ll do what we can to mobilise that support."

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CWN / Motoring / Peugeot / 27 Jul 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM