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Largest union votes for industrial action at Vauxhall plants

Vauxhall workers have voted by a narrow margin for industrial action as part of ongoing protests at the ending of car production at Luton with the loss of 2,000 jobs.

Members of the Transport and General Workers Union, representing the largest majority of Vauxhall employees, voted 58% in favour of strike action in a turnout of 77%.

This result will be a major disappointment to Vauxhall chairman and managing director Nick Reilly who said last week that he thought there was no “appetite” for industrial action among his workers. He expressed concern that if the ballot, which was almost over by the time Vauxhall was able to announce it had secured production of the new Vectra at Ellesmere Port, went in favour of a strike, it would seriously hamper company efforts to transfer 1,200 jobs from car production at Luton to IBC.

However, Mr Reilly will be able to take some comfort from the fact that members of the AEEU union voted against industrial action. Members of a third union the MSF are also expected to be against strike action when their votes are known today.

A Vauxhall spokesman said: “It looks as if there will be some form of action, but we doubt it will last and I doubt it will be a full strike, but more likely a cap on overtime. “Vauxhall is ready to start talks with the unions immediately to discuss restructuring of our operations.”

Last month Luton and Ellesmere Port were hit by a one day unofficial strike in protest against GM's decision in December to end car production at Luton.

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