Motoring workers union Unite have announced they have reached agreement with Vauxhall Motors new owners Magna, that will protect jobs at Ellesmere Port and Luton plants.

Unite say that in the region of 600 jobs would go, but all would go through voluntary redundancy, initially it had been expected that up to 1,200 of the 5,000 Vauxhall jobs in the UK could be lost.

As part of the deal the union agreed to a two-year pay freeze and other cost-savings in return for having no compulsory redundancies.

The deal will give both the UK plants job security and a future through to 2013, with the union hoping the plants can prove themselves which can then be translated into a long-term future beyond that date.

"This is very good news for Vauxhall's UK operations and is the result of a tremendous team effort between the leadership of Unite and the management team at Vauxhall," the company said in a statement.

Magna is currently concluding the purchase of both Opel and Vauxhall, having been chosen by GM after a long bidding process. Magna has previously indicated that to remain viable the former european of General Motors would have to shed as many as 10,500 jobs at Opel and Vauxhall.

Due to heavy subsidies offered by the German government it had been feared that about 1,200 of those would go in the UK, but Unite said that only 600 would now be cut and all of those would be through voluntary redundancy.

While Unite has agreed to a pay freeze, its statement added that there would be an increase in working hours to top up workers' earnings.

Under the deal, Ellesmere Port will produce the next generation Astra, set for 2016, subject to remaining competitive against other sections of the group.

Talks between Magna and Spanish unions have ended without agreement on Tuesday, according to Spanish unions, Magna wants to cut about 1,300 of the 7,000 staff at the Opel factory in the Spanish town of Figueruelas, which unions have opposed.

"The meeting has finished without any kind of agreement," said Juan Arceiz, head of the workers committee at Opel Spain.

Magna has declined to comment on either of the two union announcement's.

by for
find me on and follow me on