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No desire to close Vauxhall plants in the UK company boss tells Unite

No desire to close Vauxhall plants in the UK company boss tells Unite Photo: PA Images

The leader of the country's biggest trade union has been reassured by the head of Vauxhall's parent company that he does not want to close UK plants.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey met PSA Peugeot Citroen boss Carlos Tavares to seek assurances over the future of the Ellesmere Port plant, saying it should be given a new model to secure hundreds of jobs.

The company said earlier this month that another 250 jobs could go at Vauxhall on top of 400 job losses announced last year.

Mr McCluskey said after the meeting in Paris:

Carlos Tavares repeated his desire not to close UK plants, which is reassuring.

"He also talked of working with Unite to construct a roadmap for future operations in the UK, again encouraging.

"On behalf of Unite, I repeated our determination to safeguard the UK plants and if needs be our willingness to disrupt PSA's UK market share if the company fails to support this loyal workforce.

"I remain optimistic, however, that we can work constructively with PSA, albeit with the uncertainty and confusion caused by Brexit being a consideration for the company."

– Unite general secretary Len McCluskey

Mr McCluskey said he would be pressing Business Secretary Greg Clark to make sure the UK Government does all it can to create the climate for PSA investment.

I will be seeking a meeting with the secretary of state on this as soon as possible because there is no time to lose.

"The three parties - PSA, Unite and the UK government - must work together now to give our plants a future."

– Unite general secretary Len McCluskey

Unite pointed out that Vauxhall has consistently held a high proportion of the UK car market, with a market share ranging from around six to nearly 14% between 2014 and 2017.