LORD Mandelson has vowed to ‘fight for every job’ at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant.
The Business Secretary made the pledge, much to the delight of union leaders, during his visit to the North Road factory yesterday afternoon.
He described the plant as having a ‘glorious past’ and a ‘very important and prosperous future’ after being shown round the site and invited to test out the new Astra model.
Lord Mandelson revealed that a decision on the preferred bidder for General Motors’ European Operations, which includes Vauxhall, good be made within a week.
The two front runners are Magna and RHJ, who have both vowed to continue Vauxhall production in the UK.
Although Lord Mandelson is ‘impatient for a solution’ to end the uncertainty, he said he would not be rushed into a decision on what bid to back with tax-payers money.
He wants all Vauxhall jobs safeguarded at both Ellesmere Port and Luton, and a long-term commitment to production in the UK.
Lord Mandelson said: "The plant has a very strong future, you just have to look around it to see the quality and efficiency of the place, the working environment, it’s hardly surprising that productivity is high here and costs are low.
"But what we have to do in the mean time is fight for every job and that is what I’m going to do."
Plant union convenor John Fetherston said: "He said everything we wanted to hear. We have identical aims.
"It was a positive visit. I don’t believe it was spin, he would get caught out if it was."
- See Chronicle Xtra and Ellesmere Port Pioneer next week for in-depth coverage.