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Breaking News: Peugeot Workers To Face Bleak Future

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http://www.breakingnews.ie/2006/04/22/story255351.html

BREAKING NEWS.ie

Peugeot workers face 'bleak future' in jobs market
22/04/2006 - 08:52:50
Workers at the UK's Peugeot Citroen factory who will lose their jobs when production ends in the summer of next year faced a “bleak future” in finding other work, a union leader warned today.
Derek Simpson, general secretary of Amicus, repeated his complaint that
Government ministers were powerless to resist the decision of multinational companies to pull out of Britain
.

As multinationals pull out of Britain to build their products where labour is cheaper, the job losses will take a terrible toll and severely undermine worker's ability to pay continuing high prices for homes. Regrettably, it is hard to disagree with the Union's perspective that those who are now losing jobs will not find other work in the "Miracle Economy." The Government is not only powerless but exacerbating the situation by pricing our workers out of work through years of ramping HPI and MEW.

:(

Edited by Realistbear

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Another nail in the UK manufaturing coffin.

Got a couple of relatives who work for Toyota in Derby (which apparently is one of the most productive car plants in Europe according to them - they ship cars all over the world including Japan). They've just had a recruitment freeze. In itself that doens't sound like anything but a big place like that must see natural shrinkage of 5% a year anyway?

I heard somewhere that the Peugeot factory in France was willing to strike in support of Peugeot UK - they're worried that their jobs will be going next (in this case I think Peugeot are moving production to Eatern Europe)

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The popular view is that low wages in the far east is the threat. This is not the case. We can stay in the game by focussing on innovation (developing new products and making old products more efficiently). That is what other developed countries are doing. InIreland the pharmaceutical indsutry is is still growing strongly.

In the UK we have rapidly rising tax, red tape and alarming legislation. We have also seen the introduction of retrospective taxs. Gordon has created a climate of fear and doubt. Investment in R&D in the UK has fallen to less than half that of other developed countries since labour to power. Our quota of patents filed has dropped like a stone. The construction of new chemical and pharmaceuctical manufacturing facilities (apart from a few bio pharm) has virtually stopped in recent years within the UK.

The government's ill concieved efforts at social engineering are also ruining our competetiveness. Their fixation on quantity rather than quality of degrees for example is ruining the University system. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering departments are being shut down remorselessly. The latest victim is the Chemistry department at Sussex University (they have had three Nobel prize winners)

The Government have a defeatest attitude about the far East and are hiding behind stupid concepts such as the 'post industrial economy'. The reality is that Labour costs in the far east are rising rapidly and they have to shift their goods 5,000 miles if they want to sell anything to us. Other European countries are doing something about it. Tony's government is competing with India in .......... Call centres

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Dog if it were only that simple!!.

The fact is, that no matter what technology we develop the labour element will be offshored.

We have two simple choices, protectionism in the interest of the nations people and their future's or close the doors on what is a failed concept of globalisation.

It doesnt take an Einstein to work out that the third world can work cheaper and faster than us in the west.

They are desperate people, and would happily labour away for a bowl of rice a week, now for us that is unnaceptable.

We need to look at our own interests, and protect British Jobs.

Passing laws in the UK on Employment might be all pink and fluffy and well received, but paying men to have time off for babies, and such like costs money making it unprofitable for UK businesses to compete. Can you imagine the laughter in India when I told them that we get paid to have time off for Babies!!.

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Dog if it were only that simple!!.

The fact is, that no matter what technology we develop the labour element will be offshored.

We have two simple choices, protectionism in the interest of the nations people and their future's or close the doors on what is a failed concept of globalisation.

It doesnt take an Einstein to work out that the third world can work cheaper and faster than us in the west.

They are desperate people, and would happily labour away for a bowl of rice a week, now for us that is unnaceptable.

We need to look at our own interests, and protect British Jobs.

Passing laws in the UK on Employment might be all pink and fluffy and well received, but paying men to have time off for babies, and such like costs money making it unprofitable for UK businesses to compete. Can you imagine the laughter in India when I told them that we get paid to have time off for Babies!!.

The third world can work cheaper and faster than us but for the most part, they do not work better (not yet anyway). The cost savings to be had through better Chemical manufacturing are huge and make labour costs look trivial.

America can get away with protectionism but we are too small for that. If we go down the path of protectionism, we will be living turnips within 10 years.

I completely agree with your last point.

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Can't help but think all this offshoring is just a temporary blip .....

Once these countries get a taste of the good (better) life they will want more and more just like everybody else ..... and low wages will become a thing of the past .....

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Can't help but think all this offshoring is just a temporary blip .....

Once these countries get a taste of the good (better) life they will want more and more just like everybody else ..... and low wages will become a thing of the past .....

Right. Read a few days ago that India was now offshoring to Bangladesh for cheaper labour. The good life is taking on in India so its just a question of time.

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In Britain we should be able to compete with any other country for any product where labour is not a major cost as we already have a developed infrastucture (if a little creaky). Unfortunately Labour is often part of the problem as bureaucracy tax is taking money away that should go into R&D. I suppose it depends on how you see the end point for society. I like the idea that we all work less, have to do less of the crap work, and get to spend more time as we wish and to me that vision of the future involves high tech manufacture rather than a call centre.

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I think you are kidding yourselves if you think we can compete with the far east or India even if they do getr a taste for the good life. As for 'concentrating on inventing high tech stuff' - such as? Most new things today are really just electronic toys - ipods, mobile phones etc etc. Things nobody really needs. We pay ourselves far too much and prop up this ridiculous service economy on the gearing applied to imported goods.

I used to work for an internationally respected company. The deliveries of their main product have reduced by about a third since 2001, yet they employ nearly as many people and have invested heavily in new plant since the mid 90's. I suspect they employ a large number of sub con people (inc me, now) as well nowadays, which they don't admit to in the accounts. But, they are making more profit and their shares have gone up a lot. Why/how?

Many people there are working very long hours (no overtime). As far as I can see most sit in front of a screen dealing with huge numbers of emails, or preparing ridiculously elaborate powerpoint presentations to tell their boss how well this or that project's going, not to mention all the self-imposed guff regarding the latest corporate 'initiative'. Is this what the customer really wants to pay for?

I am sure that many Companies are like this. I think it demonstrates how wealthy this country is that we can afford this poor productivity, but equally, I am certain it is a fool's paradise that cannot last.

As for Toyota or Nissan in the UK. These co's were attracted by regional development grants and getting a base in the EC. I feel sure that at some point they will up sticks an move these plants to the low cost ec countries. All the expensive lines will be shipped, leaving the site for housing development. What say you?

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The fall out is reaching Wales who must have high wages to support the catastrophic HPI over the past few years:

http://www.newswales.co.uk/?section=Business&F=1&id=8839

Call to safeguard Llanelli car jobs

22/4/2006

Llanelli based Plaid AM Helen Mary Jones has called on the new Labour Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks to safeguard local jobs in the automotive industry following the announcement that the Peugeot factory in Warwickshire is to close.
The Llanelli based AM has written to the Minister demanding that he make an immediate assessment of the impact of the Peugeot announcement.

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This is not the case. We can stay in the game by focussing on innovation (developing new products and making old products more efficiently).

The last company I worked for was 'focussing on innovation' all the time I was there. But the products they make are manufactured in China, and now much of the grunt-work is being outsourced to India... only the profitable R&D work stays in the UK, and even much of that is under threat.

I kind of agree that the only well-paid work in the future will be work that requires creativity, but that doesn't leave a lot of opportunity for people who've been laid off at 50 after spending their entire lives bolting doors onto cars: some, I'm sure, can still be creative, but most won't. For manufacturing to be profitable in the UK shipping costs would have to rise massively, UK wages would have to drop to be similar to Asia, or Asian wages rise to be similar to ours, and that would mean a massive drop in the standard of living however it happened.

I don't see how anything will change the fact that we have six billion people on the planet and in most cases their labour just isn't worth much anymore. That's the future reality we have to deal with: big populations were essential in the industrial era to do unskilled work in factories, but today they're a liability.

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BBC follow up, what is bad news for Coventry brings happy smiles in Slovakia as prosperity is brought to town with news jobs and investment:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4932112.stm

Slovaks flock to Peugeot plant

by Rob Cameron

BBC Prague correspondent in Trnava, Slovakia

The town of Trnava will be transformed by the Peugeot plant
While Coventry grieves over the departure of Peugeot, the town of Trnava in central Slovakia is being transformed by the presence of a huge Peugeot assembly plant.
The move is further evidence of the seemingly irrevocable shift of Europe's auto industry from west to east, and also seals Slovakia's reputation as its new car-making centre.
At Trnava's Technical School, teenage boys are being taught how to assemble passenger cars.
"I know how the auto industry works. They're here today, they might not be here in five years.
Martin Bacita, engineering student
There's little doubt where their working life will begin.

:)

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I heard somewhere that the Peugeot factory in France was willing to strike in support of Peugeot UK - they're worried that their jobs will be going next (in this case I think Peugeot are moving production to Eatern Europe)

Indeed, the 207 replacement model is being built at their new plant in Slovakia, VW already has a very modern plant in Bratislava where the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne is built, companies are attracted to these regions for exactly the same reason they came to Britain in the 80's, lower taxes, a supportive government, a decent workforce with reasonable salaries thanks to a lower cost of living. Of course the accession countries also have more subtle advantages that can have a big impact, they have new road infrastructure and a decent planning system that doesn't fight against them.

"In 1980's you laugh at Skoda, now we laugh at you!"

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Maybe all those sacked Peugeot workers can move to Slovakia and work three jobs at once to save money to buy a house in the UK.

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Why all the fretting and handwringing?

Soon the two year degree will be available.

These ex car workers will therefore be able to increase their qualifications for a bargain price and then obtain the many highly paid graduate level jobs in this shining example of a knowledge economy.

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Why all the fretting and handwringing?

Soon the two year degree will be available.

These ex car workers will therefore be able to increase their qualifications for a bargain price and then obtain the many highly paid graduate level jobs in this shining example of a knowledge economy.

And then the majority of people can all earn above average!

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And then the majority of people can all earn above average!

Of course! Probably official Government policy.

Funny little word "average", it has a precise meaning in the statistical sense yet is used in a very positive way when it suits as in, "Good news, average house price, wage, has increased by x".

Yet when a writer uses it, say in describing a character, "He was of average attractiveness and lived in an average looking semi detached house", somewhat more negative emotions are probably invoked.

Who the hell wants to be described as "average"?

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The last company I worked for was 'focussing on innovation' all the time I was there. But the products they make are manufactured in China, and now much of the grunt-work is being outsourced to India... only the profitable R&D work stays in the UK, and even much of that is under threat.

I agree with this. However, I suspect that this has more to do with Tax and Red Tape than cost of labour (certainly for the chemical industry anyway). Some European countries are enjoying strong growth in Chemical manufacturing but not us. I also know of large companies who are transferring R&D from the UK to other parts of Europe.

There always be a need for chemical manufacturing in Europe. Manufacturing strategies such as 'just in time' cannot live with the uncertainty of long shipping journeys. In other cases, it is just not economic or practical to shift chemicals around the world. For example, you cannot store potentially unstable chemicals on ships. Highly toxic or extreme pollutants are also difficult and expensive to transport. Many intermediate chemicals have a tendency of degrading and cannot survive long journeys. At the cheaper end of the market, transport costs are an issue. Cement and bricks are examples of this.

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Guest Cletus VanDamme

At Trnava's Technical School, teenage boys are being taught how to assemble passenger cars.

"I know how the auto industry works. They're here today, they might not be here in five years.

Martin Bacita, engineering student

There's little doubt where their working life will begin.

Seems like they are also realistic in that they know it won't be a job for life, but know how to benefit from the flexible, globalised labour market. I get the feeling that in the UK we don't quite 'get' the idea of lifelong learning. It needn't be a grind. Keep learning new stuff, try if you can to learn stuff you are actually interested in and enjoy, and you'll ride the changes.

Don't wait until the redundancy notices come round before retraining. Always be retraining and relearning.

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Dog if it were only that simple!!.

The fact is, that no matter what technology we develop the labour element will be offshored.

We have two simple choices, protectionism in the interest of the nations people and their future's or close the doors on what is a failed concept of globalisation.

It doesnt take an Einstein to work out that the third world can work cheaper and faster than us in the west.

They are desperate people, and would happily labour away for a bowl of rice a week, now for us that is unnaceptable.

We need to look at our own interests, and protect British Jobs.

Passing laws in the UK on Employment might be all pink and fluffy and well received, but paying men to have time off for babies, and such like costs money making it unprofitable for UK businesses to compete. Can you imagine the laughter in India when I told them that we get paid to have time off for Babies!!.

I think your argument supporting protectionism is right to a degree but i don't know how much as the current situation is unprecedented....Traditionally of course protectionism has been seen as a bad thing but until very recently Britain and countries of a similar income level had a monopoly on the production of everything but straw mats and now for the first time they don't........

If the poor countries had a total population similar to the rich ones then i guess their living standard could be dragged up to our level by free trade .....The problem is their population outnumbers the rich countries' by 5 or 6 to 1.........so I think the the rich countries will be dragged downward rather than the poor ones upward.

which in my mind wouldn't be bad if it were as simple as everyone in the West being dragged down to the world average income which even after adjusting for purchasing power is only third or a quarter of the Uk's. level.

What would happen in practice is that the developed countries' economies would start rotting away at the edges..with most of the population carrying on as normal as unemployment rose sharply...Maybe this is what is happening now in places like France.....first it was shoes and tshirts made in poor countries .....but now it's more sophisticated goods.....and .soon it'll be Jumbo jets......

UNLESS OF COURSE WE ALL WORK AS ESTATE AGENTS!.....or tax abusers.....Who needs a real economy??????

Edited by Michael

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However, I suspect that this has more to do with Tax and Red Tape than cost of labour (certainly for the chemical industry anyway).

Not in that case. The manufacturing was done in Ireland, but that became too expensive, so it was moved to Taiwan, and then mainland China.

A good point, though, that some industries can't do the same because of transpot costs, timescales and safety. Maybe it's time to find a job in the chemicals industry :).

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Seems like they are also realistic in that they know it won't be a job for life, but know how to benefit from the flexible, globalised labour market. I get the feeling that in the UK we don't quite 'get' the idea of lifelong learning. It needn't be a grind. Keep learning new stuff, try if you can to learn stuff you are actually interested in and enjoy, and you'll ride the changes.

Don't wait until the redundancy notices come round before retraining. Always be retraining and relearning.

Good point, and something I've been looking at. The trick is making the change to a new career seamless, by taking the skills you have and applying them to the new area of work to leverage your past experience. It's hard though, it's taken me 7 years to work my way up my current profession, I'd be reluctant to do it again but then my p45 may well be the motivation I need!

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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