Workers at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory have staged a sudden walkout over fears that 1000 jobs could be cut at the plant.
The unexpected action follows ongoing talks with owners GM about reducing Astra production across the three European plants, including Ellesmere Port, which build the car.
Production lines at the UK factory shut today after European GM boss Carl Peter Foster said one of the options would be to cut a shift from the factory with the loss of around 1000 jobs.
Talks with officials across Europe are due to finish on Friday, but a decision on how output of the Astra will be scaled back is only likely to be announced next week.
The threat to Ellesmere Port follows last month's decision by Peugeot to close its Ryton near Coventry next year with the loss of 2300 jobs.
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