Thursday 16 February 2017, By Autovolo
The largest union in Britain has said it won’t tolerate any job losses if PSA Group successfully takes over Vauxhall.
PSA, the French parent company of Citroen, Peugeot and DS Automobiles, is in discussions with General Motors (GM) about the possibility of acquiring Vauxhall and its European counterpart Opel.
There is concern from the union Unite that should the takeover be successful, there could be sweeping job losses – particularly affecting the 4,500 employees at the manufacturer’s Ellesmere Port and Luton factories.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite, conveyed his concern in a meeting with business secretary Greg Clark, saying the government was morally obliged to safeguard jobs.
Following the meeting, McCluskey said: “The meeting with the minister was an opportunity for Unite to stress that this union will not accept any job losses or plant closures as a result of this move by GM and Peugeot.
“The UK market is the largest market in the EU for Vauxhall/Opel, so GM does have a moral obligation not to turn its back on the communities and workers who have helped make this company what it is today.
“It cannot be that the future of UK car workers’ jobs now lie in the hands of the French government and their backing for Peugeot. The UK government has to offer at least equal but actually better backing for UK workers.”
McCluskey also re-emphasised his belief that the government should reconsider its policy regarding the European single market, as the union says uncertainty appears to be negatively affecting British industry.
“It does seem as if Brexit is a factor in GM’s thinking as its UK business relies heavily on its links throughout the EU supply chain,” said McCluskey.
“Without a shadow of a doubt, UK car plants must be offered the same assurances as those given by government to Nissan. But as I again stressed to the minister we need the government to be clearly committed to securing access to the single market for the UK auto industry.”
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