GM pres­i­dent calms fears over jobs at Vaux­hall UK

No ‘ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion’ plans

The Press and Journal (Highlands & Islands) - - News -

Gen­eral Mo­tors pres­i­dent Dan Am­mann has held cri­sis talks with the gov­ern­ment and unions over fears that thou­sands of Bri­tish jobs at Vaux­hall could be axed as part of a takeover.

Mr Am­mann met busi­ness sec­re­tary Greg Clark andUnite gen­eral sec­re­tary Len McCluskey fol­low­ing news that Peu­geot owner PSA Group is in talks to ac­quire GM’s loss-mak­ing Euro­pean op­er­a­tion.

The deal would in­clude Vaux­hall, which has plants at Ellesmere Port and Lu­ton em­ploy­ing 4,500 staff.

Mr Clark said the talks were “con­struc­tive” and he was re­as­sured that the plants would not be “ra­tio­nalised”. He said: “I em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of Vaux­hall in the UK and wel­comed GM’s recog­ni­tion of the ex­cel­lent and com­mit­ted work­force at Ellesmere Port, Lu­ton and across the UK.

“This fol­lows GM’s re­cent sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ments both at Ellesmere Port and Lu­ton.”

MrClark is also seek­ing a meet­ing with PSAGroup to dis­cuss the pro­posed deal that would see Vaux­hall and Opel shift to the French gov­ern­ment­backed au­to­mo­tive gi­ant. This would seeGMexit the UK and Europe, while trans­form­ing PSA Group into Europe’s sec­ond­largest car maker with a 16% share of the mar­ket.

Vaux­hall is a ma­jor em­ployer in the UK, with 35,000 staff, in­clud­ing 23,000 in its re­tail net­work, 300 at a con­tact cen­tre in Lu­ton and 7,000 in its sup­ply chain along­side work­ers at its two fac­to­ries.

Ger­many has al­ready ex­pressed con­cerns at the takeover, with chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s cabi­net dis­cussing what im­pact the tie-up would have on the 19,000 Ger­man jobs at Opel. It came on the dayGMchief ex­ec­u­tive Mary Barra is said to have flown toGer­many to visit Opel’s HQ in Rus­selsheim to dis­cuss the deal.

Mr McCluskey has called on the gov­ern­ment to ex­tend the as­sur­ances of­fered to Nis­san over Brexit to the rest of the UK car in­dus­try to help se­cure jobs at Vaux­hall.

Mr Nis­san an­nounced in Oc­to­ber that it was in­vest­ing in pro­duc­tion of new Qashqai and X-Trail mod­els at Sun­der­land after re­ceiv­ing gov­ern­ment as­sur­ances that EU with­drawal would not af­fect the plant’s com­pet­i­tive­ness.

PSA Group, which also owns the Citroen and DS brands, formed an al­liance with GM in 2012 to make pro­duc­tion more ef­fi­cient by com­bin­ing pur­chas­ing power and larger scale. The US mo­tor gi­ant said last year that it had to raise UK car prices by 2.5% after the plunge in the value of the pound fol­low­ing the vote to leave the EU.

UP FOR SALE: GM’s plants at Ellesmere Port and Lu­ton em­ploy 4,500 staff

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.