May 14, 2006 19:01 ET


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2006) -

Embargoed until 00.01 15/05/06

Attention: News, industrial, motor industry correspondents

Amicus General Secretary, Derek Simpson will today warn Vauxhall Motors that if they make significant redundancies or close Ellesmere Port the union will end its £8 million contract for Vauxhall and the union will source its car fleet from a Japanese manufacturer which employs Amicus members in the UK.

The union will also encourage its 1 million members and their families not to buy cars from GM and to support a car manufacturer that supports UK jobs. The union will also call on other unions across the UK to encourage their members and their members families to do the same.

The union will be arranging meetings with Japanese manufacturers and others who support UK jobs, to seek potential discounts through affinity deals for our members.
The Vauxhall Astra was Britain 's number one best selling new car last month and sold 25,171 cars, a massive 3,072 more than Fords due to the hard work and commitment of its workers.

Amicus General Secretary, Derek Simpson says,

" Unless GM are prepared to treat decent men and women in Britain with some dignity we will cancel our £8 million contract for Vauxhall cars. We will encourage our members to buy their cars from a manufacturer who supports the British economy and urge other unions to do the same. We will be meeting with Japanese manufacturers who employ UK workers and explore options for sourcing our car fleet from them.

Weak UK labour laws our being exploited by employers. The Government must take action to protect British manufacturing employment. Job protection similar to those enjoyed by workers in France would give British employees the opportunity to compete for investment and work."

Derek Simpson will meet MPs at the House of Commons on Tuesday 16 May to present incontrovertible proof that weak UK labour laws are leading to the demise of the British car manufacturing industry. The announcement of significant job losses at Peugeot, Ryton, TVR at Blackpool and now potentially Vauxhall is directly linked to the ease with which employers can sack UK workers compared to their other European counterparts.

Over 1 million manufacturing jobs have been lost in the UK since 1997. Where our members in manufacturing are made redundant they rarely find another comparable job. Two thirds don't find a job within a year, those who do find jobs are on around 40% lower pay and only 13% find a skilled manufacturing job.


Contact Richard O'Brien 07768 931 320 or Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

Notes to Editors:

Here are ten reasons why it is easier to sack UK workers than it is in France.

1. In France where more than 10 employees are affected the obligations to inform and consult are laid down in law and include a minimum number of meetings and timescales to be applied. In the UK there are no specifications about consultation.

2. There is a notice period of redundancies of up to 5 months in France compared to Britain where there is only 3

3. In France where more than 50 employees are at risk the employer has to propose a social compensation plan and provide that to the unions. The employer is obliged to listen to and study suggestions from the unions for mitigating the losses. No such obligation exists in the UK.

4. In France the works committee may appoint an accountant, paid for by the employer, who has 20-22 days to produce a report. The unions in France have the right to challenge the company's decision in a court of law. No such right exists in Britain.

5. In France detailed information also has to be provided to the government who will check that the employer has complied with all obligations and will apply time limits, which the employer must follow before issuing notices of termination. No such obligation exists in the UK.

6. In France the costs of implementation of the social plan required in cases of more than 10 employees being made redundant are significant. The social plan is likely to address internal redeployment, retraining, relocation packages and re-employment of spouses and partners.

7. On Average in France it costs £100, 000 to make a French worker redundant. In Britain the maximum allowed for statutory redundancy is £ 5000 for 20 years service.

8. In the UK there is no "right to strike"; only immunity against legal recourse providing a lengthy balloting process is followed. In France they have the right to take immediate industrial action and solidarity action to challenge company decisions. In France the right to strike is included in the constitutional rights of all workers.

9. French politicians would be shamed out of office unless they made every effort to protect jobs in key companies like Peugeot.

10. British politicians can wash their hands of quality well paid jobs and claim that the responsibility lies with the market.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Richard O'Brien
    07768 931 320
    Amicus Press Office
    Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315