[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Dismay among workers facing axe
By Douglas Marshall
BBC News, in Ryton, Coventry

Ryton car park
Peugeot's Ryton factory remains quiet on Wednesday morning
The early shift should have started hours ago.

But the car park at Peugeot's car factory in Ryton near Coventry remains almost empty late on Wednesday morning.

It is nearly five hours after the usual 0600 start when workers begin to arrive.

Many are driving the cars they make - Peugeot 206s - which they have leased in cheap company deals.

But few workers think there are any more deals to be done with their French employers, who have announced 2,300 jobs will go when the factory closes next year.

Silent production lines

"I cannot see any future," says Steve Gordon, 45, who has worked at the factory for three years.

Chris Canavan
Chris Canavan said he will be looking for a new job after 20 years

"There was talk about taking strike action but I cannot see what that can do. What can the government do?"

The workers are dressed for a usual day, wearing overalls and steel-toe boots. But the production lines remain silent.

Instead workers are hearing from unions about what the closure will mean for them.

Chris Canavan, 48, who has worked at the plant for 20 years, says: "We will just have to get up and look for other jobs. It is going to be hard because it is a lot of people - it is going to affect a lot of people."

A day on from the announcement, and shock remains among the workers with most sure their jobs cannot now be saved.

I have heard there is life outside of Peugeot - you've just got to get on with life
Paul Probert, Peugeot worker

It is a mood reflected by the overcast skies, a biting wind and continual rain at the plant on the outskirts of the Coventry, once known as "Motor City".

"The writing has been on the wall for a long time," says Paul Probert, who has worked at Ryton for six-and-a-half years.

"If the directors want to close it, it is closed. I can't see the purpose of walking out."

He says he hopes he can get a job with his former employer, Land Rover, in nearby Solihull, but is realistic.

"I'm 50, am I going to get a job at this kind of pay. But I have heard there is life outside of Peugeot - you've just got to get on with life."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific