Negotiations continue to minimise Vauxhall job cuts
22 September 2009

Vauxhall job losses following its acquisition by Magna could be decided as early as the end of this week, but government officials insist they are still negotiating to keep the cuts down.

Magna's initial proposal is to cut almost 1400 jobs in the UK, but negotiations about exact numbers and a timescale for cuts is currently being discussed by Magna, Vauxhall/Opel officials and the respective governments in the areas involved.

Magna has previously identified 1373 job cuts in the UK as part of its long-term plans, but this could change depending on this week's negotiations.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) issued a statement today dismissing reports that the number of job cuts had already been decided.

“Speculation on job losses across General Motors Europe is unhelpful at such early stages of the negotiations," said a spokesman. "Every aspect of these negotiations is under very active discussion and the government is working to secure the best possible outcome for Vauxhall in the UK.

"It’s too early to quote numbers. We have said that some re-structuring is inevitable, but we have had assurances from Magna that Ellesmere Port and Luton will remain open for the foreseeable future.

"The European Commission has also said it will be looking closely at the business plans and the financial contributions by the various governments and will not accept anything that looks like a political fix or any requirement that links aid to job retention for any specific plant or country.”

The EU's involvement will centre on allegations that Magna agreed, as a condition of receiving 4.5 billion euro (£4bn) in a bridging loan and credit guarantees, to keep all four German Opel plants open.

Anger that the number of job losses in Germany would be lower than elsewhere was also fuelled by Magna's initial estimates of job losses.

The proposed British cuts represent a 30 per cent loss in jobs, from 4475 to 3102. Mooted job losses in Germany account for 17 per cent of the workforce.

Magna's initial plans for job cuts (subject to change following this week's negotiations):Germany: 4116Belgium: 2517Spain: 2090UK: 1373Poland: 437Austria: 0Hungary: 0Italy: 0Total: 10,952

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