Vauxhall workers agree pay freeze

Vauxhall has agreed a two-year pay freeze with workers in the UK as parent company General Motors seeks to save £200 million in Europe.

Thousands of Vauxhall car workers have agreed to the deal and cuts to pension scheme provision as part of the US giant's "turnaround" plan after it came close to collapse amid the credit crunch.

GM hopes 10%, or £20 million, of its European cuts will be made in the UK, where Vauxhall has factories in Luton and Ellesmere Port.

It also confirmed plans to invest billions of pounds in new products and other initiatives.

Duncan Aldred, managing director of Vauxhall Motors, said: "We are proud of our employees' continued support and our excellent relationships with the unions. We believe that we have come to a positive agreement which recognises the outstanding achievements of our manufacturing facilities and the drive and enthusiasm of our employees."

Vauxhall has announced that its Ellesmere Port plant will move to three shifts in the first half of 2011 following the introduction of the Astra Sports Tourer estate car alongside the current Astra five-door hatchback and the AstraVan.

At Vauxhall's Luton plant, the firm said talks continued in a positive vein with Renault on the opportunity for joint development and production of the next generation Vivaro van.

The current Vauxhall/Renault joint venture runs out in 2013, but Vauxhall said it was optimistic that talks about a new generation Vivaro will be successful.

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