Workers at the UK’s largest Vauxhall manufacturing commercial property breathed a sigh of relief last week, when American bosses of parent company General Motors decided to close a plant in Germany rather than in Ellesmere Port.
This, they say, is because British commercial property workers are more flexible, competitive and efficient than their German counterparts.
The new flexibility deal will not only see the 2,100 current employees keep their jobs, but a further 700 new positions created. This is because a third shift will be added so the factory can run 24 hours a day, and with the addition of weekend working hours, the commercial property will be running at maximum efficiency at all times.
Members of union Unite passed the deal in an overwhelming 94 per cent majority, after conditions were agreed upon for the new pay and conditions deal affecting the commercial property’s workers. Thanks to a financial restructuring, workers have achieved fair pay and benefits, whilst at the same time enough money remains to allow for huge new investment, ensuring the stability of their jobs for years to come.
Part of this investment pertains to the production of Vauxhall’s new electric model, the Ampera. The fact that the Ellesmere Port commercial property already produces the Astra model, which can be assembled on a similar platform to the Ampera, was a huge advantage to the UK plant when bosses were deciding whether to save it or the German commercial property.
When the decision was made to channel investment funds into the Ellesmere Port commercial property, the relief felt by the employees was echoed by the Government, who are currently struggling to cope with Britain’s high unemployment figures. Business Secretary Vince Cable said; “Huge efforts have been made to try to secure the future of the Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port and the Government has played an important role in making the progress we have so far.
“Today’s decision to ballot the workforce signals a very strong vote of confidence by General Motors in the UK automotive industry and is the culmination of weeks of hard work and behind the scenes talking between the company, the unions and the Government.
“We hope that there can now be a speedy resolution so that the uncertainty can be removed and Vauxhall’s workers can get back to doing what they do best – making cars.”
The decision to invest in Britain’s workers means that GM’s new electric car, the Vauxhall Ampera, will be solely manufactured in the Cheshire plant and Poland’s Gliwice commercial property. Due to refurbishments and greater investment in the Ellesmere Port plant, production is set to skyrocket to 225,000 cars per year from an average of 140,000. The highest annual production output from the Cheshire commercial property currently stands at 180,000 cars.
British car manufacturing is experiencing a boom time, despite the financial difficulties facing the country at large. This has led to several motoring giants announcing expansion plans for UK-based commercial properties.
For example, Nissan is currently putting procedures in place to allow the production of two new models in its Sunderland plant, while increasing demand has led Jaguar Land Rover to announce the creation of an additional 1,000 people at its Halewood commercial property. Meanwhile, Honda plans to double production at its main European manufacturing commercial property in Swindon – inevitably leading to expansion and increased demand for workers.
A spokesman for the Treasury expressed the Government’s delight at the success of the British car manufacturing industry, saying; “This is very good news for the car manufacturing sector and for the British economy.”
Do you work in one of the car manufacturing commercial properties set to expand due to the success of the industry? Or do you believe this boom will help Britain get itself back on its feet financially?
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