Vauxhall convoy aims to save jobs

* Workers drive to Parliament * Convoy of UK-built Vauxhalls * Aim is to safeguard jobs...

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What Car? Staff
15 Jul 2009 12:21 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

A convoy of Vauxhalls hit London today in an attempt to safeguard jobs

Vauxhalls, dating from the 1960s to the present day, drove past Parliament to highlight the uncertain future of the company's UK factories. The cars were driven by workers from its factories in Ellesmere Port and Luton.

A 1966 Vauxhall Viva, a 1970 Viscount, a 1980 Cavalier and a 1982 Chevette were among the vehicles that took part. All the cars carried 'Save Vauxhall' logos.

Workers fighting for their future
The convoy was organised by the Unite union, which is pressing for any sale of GM Europe to safeguard the future of both UK factories. Around 5000 workers are employed at the factories and another 20,000 jobs are linked to the supply of parts and other related services.

Len McCluskey, Unite's assistant general secretary, 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.'

Vauxhall's future unclear
The future of GM Europe and, in turn, Vauxhall - remains unclear. A deal was agreed in principle between Canadian car component maker Magna and General Motors, but bids from Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company (BAIC) and RJH, a Belgian industrial conglomerate, have also been submitted.

The three bidders will present their plans to General Motors in the US and the preferred bidder is expected to be announced by the end of August.

Job losses are said to be inevitable, but because the sale will receive the backing of the German state there are concerns that cuts are more likely to be at Vauxhall's UK plants, rather than at its sister company Opel, which is based in Germany.