VAUXHALL’S Ellesmere Port car plant will today be confirmed as the home of a new Astra model, a third shift and 800 new jobs.
A mass meeting of car workers this morning – guaranteeing Ellesmere Port’s future until 2020 – is expected to pass a deal from US owner General Motors (GM) to keep the plant open, the Post understands.
It will conclude a period of desperate behind the scenes activity by Unite the Union to ensure the plant’s survival.
The Ellesmere Port site came perilously close to being axed with the loss of 2,100 jobs and hundreds of suppliers’ jobs dependent on the plant.
One union source admitted that the implications of the plant’s closure featured prominently throughout their dealings with GM, despite Ellesmere Port being one of the US car maker’s most efficient sites.
The Detroit-based motor giant has vowed to return its European division to profit after it revealed losses of about £180m in the first quarter of this year.
This could involve the closure of at least one, and maybe two, of its plants in Europe.
The Bochum plant in Germany, which employs more than 3,000 workers, could be a casualty.
Thousands of German workers are currently lobbying GM to save jobs.
GM’s new European business model is likely to see Astra production reduced from three sites to two, and these are expected to work around the clock in a bid to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.