UNION leaders have stepped up their ‘Save Vauxhall’ campaign by taking a convoy of cars and vans to Parliament.
The Vauxhall vehicles, which dated from the 1960s to the present day, were driven to the capital by workers from the Ellesmere Port and Luton plants yesterday morning.
The ‘drive-by’ protest at Westminster was organised by the Unite union in a plea to MPs to safeguard the 5,000 jobs at both factories, and the 20,000 supply chain jobs that could also be at stake.
Unite assistant general secretary Len McCluskey said: “These workers are coming to Parliament today because they want MPs to show support for their fight, not just for their future, but for the entire UK car industry.
“Vauxhall is at the heart of our car manufacturing in this country. An industry, entire workplaces and whole communities need it to thrive.
“It is vital any deal done over the future of GM in Europe is the right deal for a secure and lasting industry in this country, which is why we are pressing for our Government to carry on doing what it says it is doing and keep working towards a deal which protects our plants and jobs.”
Canadian car parts giant Magna won preferred bidder status from GM for its plans back in May, but takeover rivals RHJ International in Belgium and China’s Beijing Automotive Industry Corp are understood to still be in the frame.
And RHJ is believed to have pledged to keep the Ellesmere Port and Luton plants open following a meeting with Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.
Ellesmere Port union convenor John Fetherstone welcomed RHJ’s reassurance, describing them as ‘welcome bidders’.
The Government has indicated funding would be available for any proposal that protected UK jobs.