Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in the UK, which produces the Astra, could face closure within days according to the factory’s union boss.
The plant, which has been in operation since the early 1960s, directly employs 2000 staff with a further 4000 jobs under threat at subsidiary suppliers.
General Motors, Vauxhall’s US owner, plans to cut 47,000 jobs worldwide this year due to the economic slowdown and, following talks on Friday between Unite general secretary Tony Woodley and business secretary Lord Mandelson, speculation has surfaced that the plant is seen at most strongly at risk of closure “within the next couple of days” if ministers did not arrange a bailout using taxpayers’ funds.
It’s more bad news for vehicle manufacturing in the UK with Jaguar Land Rover having already announced 1000 redundancies, Nissan planning 1200 job cuts, BMW saying 850 positions will go from its Mini plant near Oxford and Aston Martin cutting 600 jobs at Gaydon in Warwickshire. .
GM has not yet made any official comment on the plant’s future.