Up to 700 jobs are to go at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port car plant after the company said it is extending the voluntary redundancy scheme it announced last October.
French carmaker PSA who acquired Vauxhall from General Motors in August last year said it was looking to cut 400 jobs, a quarter of its workforce at Ellesmere Port by the end of 2017 in a bid to improve competitiveness.
Reports today say Vauxhall bosses have told workers the number is likely to be nearer to 700 with the site moving to a single shift.
A Vauxhall spokesman said: “At a meeting held on Thursday 4 January 2018 between representatives from Vauxhall Motors and Unite the Union, the company explained that although the initial voluntary separation programme at its Ellesmere Port plant announced in October (aligned to adjustment of production volumes in order to protect its future) has been successful, it needs to initiate a further voluntary programme for eligible employees of a further 250 heads in the period from April to the end of September 2018.
“The teams are conscious of the need to accelerate the recovery of plant productivity in order to meet the challenges ahead and as an important element of this recovery, this additional separation programme will support the plan move to a single production shift at Ellesmere Port during April 2018.”
The statement added: “Vauxhall Management affirmed the company’s continued commitment to the Astra plant at Ellesmere Port”The company remains confident in the ability of the Ellesmere Port workforce to deliver the necessary improvements in financial performance.”
Over 400 Welsh based staff are employed at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port site many from Flintshire and around a dozen businesses in our area are part of the Vauxhall supply chain.
Commenting on today’s development Delyn MP David Hanson said; “The news of further potential redundancies is a blow for our local economy. Vauxhall provides important employment opportunities for North East Wales and Merseyside.
The UK Government needs to take action now to offer help and support to the plant going forward.
The coming months of uncertainty will be dreadful for many families and I want to assure people that may be affected that I will be working with my colleagues in the region to put pressure on key stakeholders to try and find a way forward.
The UK should be leading the way with new battery technology and driverless vehicles, but the inability of the UK Government to have am industrial strategy that looks to the future is hampering our vehicle production sector.
I’ll be supporting local MP Justin Madders to support the development of the plant.”
A statement on the job losses at Vauxhall announced today: pic.twitter.com/NYM6D0zuyr
— Justin Madders MP (@justinmadders) January 8, 2018