PSA to close British factory six months early

11th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) - The French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen said Tuesday that it would close its British car factory on January 8, 2007.

LONDON, Oct 10, 2006 (AFP) - The French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen said Tuesday that it would close its British car factory on January 8, 2007.

Trade union officials had expected the Coventry plant, which employs 2,300 workers, would remain open until mid-2007.

However, PSA told its employees on Tuesday "that activity at the plant will cease in January 2007".

The French group added that the decision to close early had been taken as almost a quarter of the remaining workers had asked to leave the company during recent weeks.

PSA had announced in April the closure of the factory, which is located in the town of Ryton near Coventry.

"The company has received an increasing number of requests to leave from employees wishing to start new jobs and the rate of these requests is accelerating," PSA said in a statement.

"This situation has prompted the group to review the timing of the end of activity at Ryton."

Union officials reacted angrily to news of the early closure.

"Peugeot have confirmed their reputation of callous cynicism with this news," blasted Dave Osborne, national secretary for the Transport and General Workers Union.

"Peugeot built hopes up that there would be work well into next year if people wanted it," he said.

"But they have dashed those hopes and, worse, denied our members the chance to look for work in the knowledge there was a reasonable income coming in."

The factory is located in the West Midlands in central England, the traditional heart of British car manufacturing.

The area has been hit hard by the demise of the industry, particularly the collapse of MG Rover in April last year.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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