Ryton set for strike over four-day week

Deadlock as 3,000 Peugeot car workers prepare for walkout

Peugeot’s factory at Ryton, Coventry, is facing an all-out strike by its 3,000 workers from tomorrow as the overtime ban which began on Monday escalates.

The dispute follows disagreement in pay and conditions negotiations. The main sticking point is over proposals to switch to a four-day week from a four-and-a-half-day week.

This would entail earlier starts and later finishes to the working day. But Peugeot insists there would be no real change in the total number of hours worked.

The pay offer is for 4.5% from January this year, followed by 0.5% above the rate of inflation next year.

Ryton, which has not witnessed serious industrial action for more than 15 years, manufactures all versions of the Peugeot 306, which is also made in France and Spain.

A prolonged dispute may cast a shadow over unconfirmed plans for a second model range at Coventry next year.

A spokesman at Peugeot said the overtime ban had had no effect. But an all-out strike would certainly stop production at the plant, although `contingency plans’ had been made.

About 70 suppliers could be affected by the strike. Many body parts and mechanical components are imported from France. A spokesman for trade union, the T&G, said this week that meetings with management had so far `failed to come to a resolution’.

Members of the T&G and AEEU voted recently by 1,720 to 363 to strike.