Vauxhall is set to cut 241 jobs from its Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility as part of a plant restructuring – but says it is committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies.
The firm has entered into a 45-day consultation period with trade union and employee representatives, presenting a proposal to 'align headcount and production costs with the 2019 production forecast and plans'. The reduction in headcount at the plant, which currently employs around 900 people, will be 'phased' throughout the year.
A statement from Vauxhall claims that the restructuring is 'critical to ensure that the Ellesmere Port plant develops its competitiveness during this difficult time within the industry'. The firm is 'committed' to avoiding compulsory redundancies, with the possibility of some employees transferring to the firm's Luton plant.
Vauxhall cut 400 jobs at Ellesmere Port last year and another 250 earlier this year, citing market changes rather than Brexit uncertainty as the reason output had fallen 20 percent in 12 months. This year has been the first full year under PSA Group ownership, with CEO Carlos Tavares claiming that the plant must close the cost and quality gap between itself and its European equivalents to survive.
There have been reports in local media that production line workers staged a walkout when the job losses were first communicated to staff at the plant.
Unite union regional co-ordinating officer Mick Chalmers said: "PSA should be clear. Unite will not tolerate the death by a thousand cuts of Ellesmere Port and will leave no stone unturned in securing the future of the plant and its skilled workforce."
The facility, which currently builds the Astra, produced around 110,000 cars in 2017 – 30,000 short of its 2016 figure.