Unions launch £1m campaign to block sales of Peugeots and Citroens in the UK

Unions representing workers affected by the closure of the Peugeot factory in Coventry are to launch a campaign tomorrow urging drivers to boycott cars made by the French-owned manufacturer.

Amicus and the Transport and General Workers’ Union will begin a £1m newspaper, radio and poster campaign to urge the UK’s seven million union members and other drivers not to buy Peugeot or Citro‘n cars.

The campaign comes after union members voted against strike action to protest against the closure of the Ryton plant, which has 2,300 employees.

Derek Simpson, Amicus general secretary, said that the campaign was important in the drive to maintain manufacturing in the UK and to prove that unions were not impotent in the face of global production shifts.

“We are saying that if you don’t build here then don’t expect to sell here,” he said

The newspaper advertisements will play on the patriotism stirred by the World Cup and encourage people to back England by choosing a British car. The union websites will list manufacturers that make cars in the UK or undertake some form of manufacturing here.

The advertisements will be followed by radio adverts and poster campaigns near Peugeot dealers.

The unions may also embarrass Peugeot at the British Motor Show in London next month by taking an exhibition stand there.

A Peugeot spokesman told the Times he was “surprised” at the campaign and questioned whether union funds would have been better spent on employees.

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