VAUXHALL union leaders are meeting UK car bosses tomorrow (Thursday) for reassurances on the future of their Ellesmere Port car plant and its 2,200 jobs.
Colleagues in Spain and Germany have been promised financial support by their national and regional government leaders should the financial crisis engulfing their US parent General Motors (GM) worsen.
GM bosses have been told to restructure their ailing empire to qualify for US government aid, or face bankruptcy.
But GM Europe, despite a $750m cost-cutting drive, says it is stable and is committed to launching the new Astra model at Ellesmere Port this September with a return to three-shift working.
However, plant convener and Unite the Union officer John Fetherstone said they need assurances about the immediate future and long term plans, which could involve GM’s Volt electric car.
Mr Fetherstone, who also sits on the company’s European works council, said: “We have been asking GM ‘can we help’ and the company are telling us nothing on a local level.
“In Germany and Spain national and regional governments are prepared to help the company but from Vauxhall’s point of view we have had little communication.
“So we are meeting with Bill Parfitt, chairman of GM UK and Ireland in Luton on Thursday, and our national union secretary Dave Osborne, to gauge where the company is up to in the UK.”
He added: “We want to see if the planned launch of the new Astra in September is still on course. If they do need money for that launch are they talking to the government now?”
And he said fresh UK funding may be vital for the longer term: “GM are talking about launching their electric vehicle the Volt in 2010 and we have been named as a possible candidate and we would like to think we would be in the running for that.”