As part of their threat to hit sales of Peugeot and Citroën cars, Amicus and the Trade and General Workers Union (TGWU) have started a million pound advertisement campaign urging buyers to ‘think of England’ when choosing cars.
In April, Peugeot-Citroën announced it would be closing the Ryton plant next year and moving production to France and Slovakia (with the loss of 2,300 jobs).
TGWU general secretary Tony Woodley called the closure ‘corporate betrayal’, while 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.
Fleet accounts for nearly 40% Peugeot’s total sales, and more than half of Citroën’s. As a result, a boycott by the fleet industry would have huge repercussions for the firm.
However, a spokesman for Peugeot-Citroën believes any action is unjustified.
He said: ‘PSA Peugeot-Citroën is surprised and disappointed by the trade unions’ announcement. On Monday, June 5, the union members at Ryton voted decisively against industrial action and as such there is no justification for these measures.
‘This action also fails to take into account the interests of the 5,000 PSA Peugeot-Citroën employees in the UK who will continue to be employed after the closure of the Ryton plant and whose jobs could be placed at risk by this unjustifiable action.’
Last month, Amicus revealed that it was to cancel its £8 million fleet deal with Vauxhall following 700 redundancies at the Ellesmere Port factory (Fleet News, May 25).