FEARS for jobs at Ellesmere Port’s Vauxhall plant grew today after US parent General Motors (GM) proposed plans to axe up to 47,000 workers.
The car giant presented shake-up plans to the US treasury department last night in return for state aid to save the ailing business from bankruptcy.
It has already received $13.4bn, but said it may need a further $16.6bn to keep it afloat after car sales in its US market plunged further.
Last December GM’s survival plan was based on selling 12.5 million cars. January sales now indicate that will fall to 9.5 million.
GM chief executive Rick Waggoner said GM’s latest proposal to cut jobs and five more US factories should return the business to profit within two years and in a position to repay its government loans by 2017.
However, his plan depends on further US government cash, with the alternative being bankruptcy.
But John Fetherstone, Unite the Union convener at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, which employs 2,200 workers, said even the bleakest scenario of bank-ruptcy could see the UK and European business survive.
“There is talk of spinning off GM Europe as a separate entity and we would demand support from our government.
“The German govern-ment is rapidly getting behind their plants, and we would want to see some comments from our government to show they are behind us.” THE ECHO