November 23, 2018 / 3:06 PM / 19 days ago

Peugeot's UK Vauxhall to cut more jobs at Ellesmere Port car plant

A general view of the Vauxhall car plant in Ellesmere Port, Britain, January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble - RC19CDA50360

LONDON (Reuters) - Carmaker Vauxhall, which is owned by Peugeot parent company PSA (PEUP.PA), is to shed an extra 241 jobs from its Ellesmere Port car plant in the latest cuts at the site, deepening union concerns over the future of the factory.

The firm said in October last year it would cut roughly 400 out of the then 1,900 people at the location, and then announced a further 250 jobs losses in January as Peugeot restructured the loss-making sites it bought from General Motors in 2017.

Vauxhall builds the Astra Sports Tourer family estate model at Ellesmere Port and the brand has seen its sales fall 11 percent so far this year, faster than the overall decline of 7 percent in Europe’s second-biggest autos market.

“The restructuring is necessary to make it a competitive plant when compared to the benchmark,” Vauxhall said in a statement.

The firm said the announcement was not related to Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union.

PSA boss Carlos Tavares said earlier this year that the French carmaker will decide in 2020 on whether to make fresh investment to keep the plant in northwest England open.

Britain’s biggest trade union Unite said it was seeking urgent assurances over the future of the site.

“Unite will not tolerate the death by a thousand cuts of Ellesmere Port and will leave no stone unturned in securing the future of the plant and its skilled workforce,” said Unite regional coordinating officer Mick Chalmers.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison

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