The leader of Unite, the country’s biggest union, has hailed the proposed investment into PSA’s Luton van plant as a ‘deserving tribute to a dedicated workforce’. However, Unite's general secretary Len McCluskey also called upon PSA to remove the cloud hanging over the company's Ellesmere Port plant too, which is also awaiting a new model.

Speaking at the Vauxhall Luton van plant today (Wednesday), where French owners PSA announced that there would be investment of £170 million to bring a new model to the UK and create 450 new jobs, Len McCluskey said: “It is great news that this new product should see van production at Luton for the next 10 years to come.

“This is a very welcome investment in Luton by PSA, and a deserving tribute to a dedicated workforce. It will steady nerves at the plant after years of uncertainty.

“It will, of course, be for the members at the plant to decide whether to accept the whole package of measures, including a pay deal along with the new product, and they will take that vote in the coming weeks.

“In the meantime I want to pay tribute to the stewards and members at both our Vauxhall sites, Luton and Ellesmere Port, for their commitment to delivering successful negotiations. They are a credit to their union and deserve today’s better news.

“However, I do want to raise one matter with Carlos Tavares, PSA’s CEO, directly. The investment into Luton is very welcome, but we do expect to hear of similar plans for Ellesmere Port, where the workforce has been just as loyal and is just as deserving of a secure future but continues to live with a cloud hanging over it.

“Vauxhall is a highly regarded British brand with over a century of motor manufacturing with a strong and loyal UK customer following.

“Add to this the excellent productivity at our plants and the case for PSA to build a long-term home in the UK is a compelling one.

“I look forward to sitting down with Mr Tavares very soon to bring good news to Ellesmere Port too.”


Notes to editors:
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  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.