Trade union Unite has vowed to fight for the long-term future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port assembly plant after General Motors sold its European car interests.
The organisation’s general secretary Len McCluskey says he is determined to convince new owner PSA Group that it should continue using British plants and workers for vehicle manufacturing.
He says: “This has obviously been a very difficult time for the workforce, but their union has been and will continue to work day and night to fight for their interests.
“Now that General Motors has disposed of its UK sites, our focus switches to working with the new owners to persuade them of the evident merits of our plants and this excellent, loyal workforce.
“I am determined that we can convince the new boss, Mr [Carlos] Tavares, that it makes sense for him to continue to build in Britain. Our plants are the most productive in the European operation, the brand is strong here, the market for the products is here, so the cars must be made here.”
General Motors sold its assets to the French company for £1.9 billion in a move which sees the Peugeot maker become the second-largest automotive company in Europe with a 17% share of the market.
PSA Group has pledged to honour existing commitments to UK Vauxhall plants, but the deal potentially puts jobs at risk at Ellesmere Port – which has a contract to produce Astras until 2021 – as well as the Luton Vauxhall facility in the long run.
Around 2,000 staff are employed at the Ellesmere Port base.
Photograph by Peter Craine.