Hopes high for Vauxhall employee transfer plan

The
director of personnel at Vauxhall is optimistic that the company will be able
to avoid compulsory redundancies following the planned closure of its Luton
plant.

An
estimated 2,000 jobs will be lost if car production finishes at the factory in 2002,
but Bruce Warman told Personnel Today that he was hopeful an agreement could be
reached that would avoid compulsory redundancies.

He
said, “We have agreed to talks at the Luton plant over the next two weeks to
try and reach a mutually agreed package to transfer employees to our van plant
next door.

“We
are hoping that we will be able to avoid compulsory redundancies. We believe
there is a chance we can do this.”

The
stakes will be raised this week by the T&G union when its members at
Vauxhall’s Luton and Ellesmere Port factories will walk out from night shifts
on Thursday and from all shifts on Friday.

A
T&G spokesman  said, “We are trying
to get GM to stick to the agreement it signed in 1998 that the replacement for
the Vectra would go to Luton when the current run finishes in the middle of
2002 and the replacement for the Astra, the Delta, would go to Ellesmere Port.”

Brian
Harris, a spokesman for the MSF, whose members rejected taking strike action,
cautiously welcomed Warman’s comments. He said, “If that is the case, that is
good news for the employees, but I still think it will mean a number of people
will have to uproot and move to Ellesmere Port.

“Bearing
in mind they are closing production at the plant I don’t see that the ISC site
will be able to soak up the numbers of people we are talking about.”

By
Ben Willmott

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