Job losses at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port car manufacturing facility are set to reach 650 since the manufacturer’s takeover by the PSA Group after a new wave of cuts was announced this week.
Vauxhall is inviting voluntary redundancies as it attempts to shed a further 250 staff on top of the 400 job losses it announced in October as the French group implements its plan to "accelerate the recovery of plant productivity" by moving staff from two production shifts to one.
A statutory 45-day workforce consultation will be carried out as Vauxhall attempts to minimise the impact of the proposed job cuts at the Astra-producing plant.
The conclusion of the process will complete the loss of a third of the plant’s 1,800 workforce since PSA took ownership of the site.
Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, described the move as “an additional blow to a world class workforce that is one of the most efficient in the industry”, adding that “PSA must provide investment guarantees on new models for Ellesmere Port as a matter of urgency”.
PSA had highlighted the need for changes at Ellesmere Port when it stated that the costs of manufacturing at the plant were higher than in its other factories.
Following Opel and Vauxhall’s acquisition from former owner General Motors in a £1.9 billion acquisition finalised last August, PSA said that there would be no need for plant closures, however, as it attempted to turn around the fortunes of the brands which had failed to deliver a profit since 1999.
PSA wants the Opel and Vauxhall brand’s to generate a positive operational free cash flow by 2020 as well as an operating margin of two percent by 2020 and 6% by 2026.