Vauxhall to cut further jobs at Ellesmere Port

26 November 2018

26 November 2018

Vauxhall, the British arm of PSA Group owned Opel, has announced that it is looking to cut more jobs at its Ellesmere Port plant.

The carmaker has said that it has entered into a 45-day consultation period with trade union and employee representatives to propose a restructuring at its plant, where its Astra model is built for the UK and European markets. It is expected that 241 jobs will be lost as a result.

Late last year the company announced that it was cutting 400 jobs at the plant, while in January another 250 roles were dropped. This was due to restructuring in order to shore up the company’s finances following the sale of Opel to PSA Group from General Motors.

In a statement, Vauxhall said: ′At a National Joint Negotiation Committee meeting, the Company announced a proposal for business restructuring to align headcount and production costs with the 2019 production forecasts and plans. The 2019 plan encompasses site compression, implementation of new technologies and other transformation activities which will impact on headcount requirements.  This restructuring requires a planned phased reduction in headcount by 241 heads during 2019.

′This restructuring is critical to ensure that the Ellesmere Port plant develops its competitiveness during this difficult time within the industry.   The restructuring is necessary to make it a competitive plant when compared to the benchmark.’

The company stated that it remains committed to achieving the restructuring without having to bring in compulsory redundancies. Instead, it hopes that some employees could transfer to its manufacturing plant in Luton, in which case it would offer relocation support to those workers.

The 45-day consultation with trade union and employee representatives will enable a plan to be produced that will help to avoid redundancies, reduce the number of redundancies and mitigating the consequences of any such dismissals.

Mick Chalmers, regional coordinating officer for Unite, the union that represents Ellesmere Port employees, said: ″Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port workers have made huge sacrifices and worked hard to ensure the carmaker recently returned to profit for the first time in two decades. Further job losses will come as a sickening blow for them and their families in the run-up to Christmas and will further heighten the anger over the uncertainty surrounding the future of the plant.’

Following the news surrounding the UK’s Brexit deal with the European Union, and the days of uncertainty in the aftermath, some media outlets reported that PSA Group was considering a total closure of Ellesmere Port, with the company deciding to move production of the Astra out of the UK. While the news of job losses is not a positive one, it highlights the French automaker’s commitment to keeping the plant running.