General Motors Co. will soon begin talks with unions with regards to the carmaker's plan to cut 354 jobs at its Vauxhall plant in Luton in England. GM asserts that the job losses will be voluntary and that the number is subject to further consultation.
GM also said that currently, there is a proposal to reduce Luton's headcount by 354 employees to right-size the business in line with the 2010 forecast production volume. These job losses are included in the overall restructuring plan for GM European business
Almost 9,000 jobs are expected to disappear, with Germany facilities being the worst hit. Earlier this month, Nick Reilly, interim head of GM's European business, said that the company must reduce its production across Europe by 20-25 percent as part of a 3.3 billion euro ($4.96 billion) plan.
In early November, GM dropped plans to sell Opel, including its British Vauxhall plants, to a consortium led by Canadian auto parts maker Magna International.
This casts further doubt over its European operations and risks a confrontation with unions across Europe. GM said that it hopes to continue manufacturing at its UK plants, Ellesmere Port in northwest England, and Luton, north of London. The Opel Vivaro and Renault Trafic light commercial vans are built at the Luton facility. [via reuters]