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Peugeot Workers Vote On Revised Deal

Ballot papers go out today in the latest stage of the unrest of Peugeotís Ryton plant in a dispute over working hours.

Staff have been given a revised package with fewer compulsory Friday nights and better pay for weekend workers.

Management stopped the production track for two of the daytime shifts on Thursday and will talk to weekend workers later today to explain the deal, and urge them to accept.

Two ballots have rejected previous deals, and management pulled off issuing new contracts after a strike.

Workers have until Wednesday lunchtime to return their ballot papers - and the result is expected later that afternoon.

Workers have shown they are prepared to strike, rather than accept new contracts, which have a reduced number of hours for weekday workers.

But they could be compelled to work nine Friday nights per year. That number has fallen with each offer from management. It started at 20.

The weekend shift workers would get new permanent contracts, but would have to reckon on compulsory Monday working on top of their Friday, Saturday and Sunday shifts.

There are also changes to tea-breaks and holidays, but these issues have proved less contentious than the additional compulsory hours.

The last strike result saw workers reject that deal by a tiny margin with 1,270 voting for strike action, only 31 fewer has voted to accept the new deal.

Each of the three shifts took industrial action, with a potential loss of £6 million production per shift.

Both union leaders and management are again backing this deal. Union leaders have also backed the previous deals, but their members chose not to follow that advice.

Talks for revised working hours started nearly a year ago.

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CWN / Motoring / Peugeot / 01 Sep 00
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