Vauxhall, a carmaker, is to cut 241 more jobs at its Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant by the end of next year. It is a move that the company claims to be “critical” to the competitiveness of the said site.
This afternoon, the shares of Peugeot (PSA), its owner, plunged as Vauxhall revealed that it planned to reduce the headcount without having to utilise compulsory redundancies, instead of trying to carry out the action on a voluntary basis.
Ellesmere Port has been the site of two previous major rounds of cuts in the past 13 months. Around 400 jobs had been lost in October 2017, then another 250 last January in a major restructuring operation that was conducted by Peugeot.
Vauxhall builds the Astra Sports Tourer model at Ellesmere Port. So far, the brand has dropped 11 percent of sales this year. It said that the decision was not related to Brexit.
It said that the employees would have the choice to move to Luton to work at the manufacturing plant of the company that is located there, with “relocation support” provided.
in a statement, Vauxhall said that the plan of the company for next year includes “site compression, implementation of new technologies and other transformation activities which will impact on headcount requirements.”
It stated: “This restructuring requires a planned phased reduction in headcount by 241 heads during 2019.”
It added: “The restructuring is necessary to make it a competitive plant when compared to the benchmark.”
According to workers’ union Unite, the said announcement marks the fourth round of job cuts in recent years, resulting in a reduction in the company’s workforce of almost 60 percent,
Mick Chalmers, the regional coordinating officer of Unite, stated: “Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port workers have made huge sacrifices and worked hard to ensure the carmaker recently returned to profit for the first time in two decades.”
He added: “Further job losses will come as a sickening blow for them and their families in the run-up to Christmas and will further heighten the anger over the uncertainty surrounding the future of the plant.”
He continued: “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.”