Ellesmere Port car plant loses 400 jobs

Share Button

Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant. Pic © Wikimedia Commons

Car workers on Merseyside have been dealt devastating news after Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant announced 400 job losses before the end of the year.

Management say they hope that the job cuts, which equate to about one quarter of the staff at the plant, will be carried out through voluntary redundancies.

A spokesperson from PSA, the car manufacturer’s parent company, said: “Vauxhall needs to adjust production volumes at its Ellesmere Port production facility to the current level of demand and to improve its performance, in order to protect its future.”

Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, said in a statement that the news is “hugely disappointing” and “bound to have an impact on the local economy”.

The spokesperson for PSA dismissed any suggested link with the job cuts to Britain’s departure from the European Union, saying: “Manufacturing costs at Ellesmere Port are significantly higher than those of similar plants in France.”

The PSA Group, which also includes Peugeot and Citroen, bought Vauxhall earlier this year, and vowed to improve efficiency of the plant.

A Vauxhall spokesperson said that the job cuts are about maintaining competitiveness in a changing industry.

Twitter: Radio City News

Fears over redundancies began in March, when it was first announced that Vauxhall was to be sold to PSA.

However, at that time, PSA told the Unite union and the UK government that jobs would be protected and production at Ellesmere Port would be guaranteed until at least 2021.

Unite, Britain’s largest Labour Union, has asked for a guarantee from PSA for future investment into the plant.

Union officials described the announcement as a “huge loss” to the region, which has happened just days after cuts were announced at BAE systems, which has many bases throughout the North West.

Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said: “This news is extremely difficult to take. To lose 400 skilled jobs at Vauxhall, albeit on a voluntary basis, is a major blow to the automotive industry and its supply chain. It is also another huge loss for the north west economy.”

About Suzy Sankey, JMU Journalism