UP TO 150 jobs could go at Vauxhall’s plant in Ellesmere Port as the company cuts back on production to cope with the ongoing economic downturn.
The company said it was offering voluntary redundancy packages to some workers at the site, which employs more than 2,000 people and makes the market-leading Astra.
Car sales worldwide have not picked up as hoped and so Vauxhall wants to trim production to ensure it does not build too many surplus vehicles.
Up to 300 jobs could be affected across the UK, half of them here and half in Luton.
The move is opposed by unions, who said the firm should hold on to skilled workers so it is ready to grow again when the economy recovers.
In a statement, the company said: “It is common practice to balance supply with demand to avoid building up stocks and as a consequence of the continued economic downturn a number of employees will be offered voluntary separation packages at our Ellesmere Port plant.”
John Fetherstone, trade union convenor at Ellesmere Port, said: “We do not support this move.
“We say the company should retain this skilled workforce ready to take advantage when times get better – which they will.”
The company has also played down reports that business secretary Vince Cable will plead with parent company General Motors to spare Ellesmere Port.
Weekend reports claimed Mr Cable will fly to this week’s Geneva Motor Show for talks with GM bosses who are considering proposals to cut mounting losses within the European operation, including possible plant closures.
GM Europe lost £471m last year.