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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
MP calls for new laws for workers
Peugeot workers
Workers at Peugeot said they felt betrayed by their employer
An MP has called for workers to get more input into decisions when firms close factories or move abroad.

Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham tabled his Notification of Redundancy Bill in parliament on Tuesday.

He said workers were often "fourth or fifth" down the line when a big firm decided to shut a factory or move away.

He cited recent examples of job losses in the West Midlands such as at Rover in Birmingham and Peugeot in Coventry where workers were not consulted.

"This Bill aims to create a level playing field on investment decisions made by companies in line with their European counterparts," he said.

The choice is clear - introduce the single employment protection that other employees experience in Europe
Jim Cunningham, MP

When French-owned Peugeot-Citroen announced it was closing its Ryton plant in Coventry last week, unions said it was a decision that would not have happened abroad.

They blamed the current UK employment laws for failing the workforce.

Mr Cunningham called for more protection for workers and said that stronger employment laws would save jobs.

Factory closures

He pointed to examples in Europe where company works councils let employees help make decisions within companies.

He said the situation where companies could close factories at will "could not be allowed to continue".

"The choice is clear - introduce the single employment protection that other employees experience in Europe. Without a doubt a more proactive industrial policy, and stronger employment laws would save jobs."

The Bill was given an unopposed first reading but has little chance of becoming law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

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