Around a third of the work force at Ellesmere Port will be axed – that's 250 jobs.
Less than a week after news broke that Opel and Vauxhall's new owners PSA planned to slashing working hours at the Anglo-German company's factories, it has now been uncovered that job cuts are on the way, with plans for the workforce size to be slashed by a third at Vauxhall's UK plant.
The Astra has been produced at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory since its introduction in 1979, but PSA, the company made up of Peugeot, Citroen and now Vauxhall/Opel, is making plans to cut 250 jobs at the site. That follows an announcement in October that 400 jobs out of 1,900 were to be cut by the end of 2017.
PSA says the decision is to improve the efficiency of the facility, by ensuring an entire day's production can be handled in a single shift. The switch to a single shift is set to take effect in April.
Last week the company informed the Unite trade union that further cuts were on the horizon and that the successful voluntary redundancy programme from October would be continuing.
'The teams are conscious of the need to accelerate the recovery of plant productivity to meet the challenges ahead,' Vauxhall said in a statement.
Ellesmere Port mainly handles the production of the estate version of the Astra, but falling demand for the model, allied with the factory's production of just a single model is causing the factory to fail. 'We’re building the wrong car,' Unite representative John Cooper told Reuters. 'One car is no good to a car plant any more. It’s got to be at least two models.'
Whether or not the production of the car will continue going forwards is set to be decided by PSA and will be a key test of Britain's ability to attract investment and production in the wake of Brexit.