Management and unions at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant are negotiating a significant overhaul of working practices, including adding a possible third shift, as part of the bid to stay open in the restructuring of GM Europe.
Improvements such as more flexible working practices and complex shift-patterns are understood to be on the table as Ellesmere digs deep to save its 2700 jobs.
The plan is also understood to include a significant increase in British-built content in the cars built at Ellesmere, which are hoped to increase from 10 per cent currently to 30 per cent in 2014 when anew Astra goes into production. A more favourable Pound/Euro exchange rate is said to be helping that plan.
The negotiations are said to being helped by the close working relationship between management and unions. Unite Union leader Tony Woodley started his career at Ellesmere Port.
A decision on the plant's future could come as soon as 'a month or so', according to one source.
Ellesmere will have to improve productivity to remain a step ahead of its other rivals as GM plans to trim its network of seven European plants down to five.