TRADE unions have struck an agree-ment on improved redundancy packages at a firm supplying parts for Vauxhall Motors.
Following crunch talks on Monday, TDS Automotive Logistics in Ellesmere Port announced it would be offering staff better terms.
The improved deal comes after workers held two wildcat strikes at the end of last month, which brought production at the adjacent Vauxhall plant to a halt, and threatened industrial action over the original offer.
The new packages will see staff with less than two years service receive £2,750 while those who have worked at the plant for nine years or more will be entitled to £11,000.
TDS, which supplies bumpers and accessories for the Astra, wants to cut 198 jobs out of a workforce of 553 and intends to achieve this through voluntary redundancies.
Transport and General Workers Union deputy regional secretary Mick Whitley, said: 'These new and enhanced terms are much better than the original offer of minimum statutory terms, so in that sense we believe we have achieved something.
'But the fact remains there will be redundancies because of further contraction in manufacturing and nobody can take any comfort from that.
'We will now work with TDS to make sure the voluntary redundancies are managed properly and fairly.'
TDS plant manager Colin Harwood, said: 'The company put forward revised proposals improving upon the redundancy terms previously offered. We are now in a position to ask for volunteers.
'The trade unions will continue to meet with the company to monitor the response to the voluntary programme and will continue to consult with the company in order to minimise redundancies.
'Both parties remain committed to achieving the reduction in head count through voluntary redundancy.'
Following lengthy-talks it was also agreed that shift premiums would remain at 28% for the remainder of the year although TDS have proposed reductions during 2007.
Meanwhile, a union spokesperson confirmed that an advertising campaign encouraging people to boycott Vauxhall cars if the troubled plant were to close is 'something we've considered.'
However, he added: 'It's a different issue with Vauxhall (compared to the closure of the Peugeot factory in the Midlands) because the plant has not closed. But the message we want to make is that the unions mean business.'
A further meeting between trade unions and TDS has been arranged for Wednesday, August 16.