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Clark given assurances in France over Vauxhall jobs

VAUXHALL’S “brand” and “committed workforce” are highly valued, Business Secretary Greg Clark was told during crunch talks in Paris over the future of thousands of British jobs.

Mr Clark travelled to France for meetings with his French counterpart and board members of PSA Group, which manufactures Peugot and Citroen, over its mooted takeover of General Motors’s loss-making European operation.

The deal would include GM marque Vauxhall, which has plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton employing around 3,500 staff.
Mr Clark insisted the talks had been “constructive.”

He said: “They stressed that they valued highly the enduring strength of the Vauxhall brand, underpinned by its committed workforce.

“While discussions are still ongoing, they made clear to me that in any deal these were strengths they would wish to build on.”

His comments come after GM said it would put Vauxhall in the “strongest possible position for the future” after attending talks with the government and unions at Westminster on Thursday.

GM president Dan Ammann met Mr Clark and Unite general secretary Len McCluskey as concerns mount over Vauxhall’s British workforce.

Mr McCluskey said he had received “no assurances at the moment” over Vauxhall’s workers, but believes “concrete proposals are imminent.”

He warned the union “will not accept any job losses or plant closures” as a result of the takeover.

Unite is also seeking a meeting with PSA Group at the earliest opportunity to discuss the proposed deal which would see Vauxhall and Opel shift to the French government-backed automotive giant.

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