November 23, 2018 16:49 CET
LONDON — Vauxhall, which is owned by PSA Group, will ax an extra 241 jobs from its Ellesmere Port plant in northwest England in the latest cuts at the site, deepening union concerns over the factory’s future.
Vauxhall said in October last year it would cut about 400 out of the then 1,900 people at the factory. The company announced a further 250 jobs losses in January as PSA restructured the money-losing Opel/Vauxhall business it bought from General Motors in 2017.
“The restructuring is necessary to make it a competitive plant when compared to the benchmark,” Vauxhall said in a statement.
Vauxhall builds the Astra Sports Tourer station wagon at Ellesmere Port and the brand has seen its UK sales fall 11 percent so far this year, faster than the overall decline of 7 percent in Europe’s second-biggest autos market.
The automaker said the announcement was not related to Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union.
PSA CEO Carlos Tavares said earlier this year that the French automaker will decide in 2020 whether to make fresh investment to keep the plant open.
Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, said it was seeking urgent assurances over the future of the site.
“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,” said Unite regional coordinating officer Mick Chalmers.
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