Vauxhall staff accept freeze

Posted on 25 May 2010 by The Manufacturer

Workers at Vauxhall’s Luton and Ellesmere Port plants have accepted a two year pay freeze as part of cost restructuring initiatives by the marques recovering US owner General Motors.

The deal was agreed between GM and the union Unite. It will save the car maker 26.5m euros (£23.1m) – a tenth of the overall 265m euros the auto maker wants to save in Europe overall. The freeze has been backdated to the beginning of this year.

A similar arrangement has been made in Germany, home of Vauxhall’s sister marque Opel. This, couple with 4,000 redundancies, will save a further 177m euros.

No redundancies are to be made at the 3,500 employee Ellesmere Port – home of the Astra – though 500 have already lost their jobs at the van-making Luton plant. That brings total numbers there to just over 1,000.

Discussing Ellesmere Port when announcing the cuts at Luton last year, General Motors’ then boss Fritz Henderson said: “We feel very good about the (Ellesmere Port) plant. Ellesmere Port is the lead plant building our new Astra. If that’s not a better signal about the future of the plant, I don’t know what is.”

Henderson has since been replaced by former chairman Ed Whitacre.