PSA will shift its troubled Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, northwest England, to a four-day workweek, leading to fears of further job cuts.
Vauxhall said in a statement the plant would operate “extended hours” on those four days, meaning workers’ hours would match those of their current five-day week. However the company didn’t rule out layoffs.
“We will now study the result of this decision and discuss with workforce representatives and trade unions whether there are any impacts,” Vauxhall said in the statement.
The plant’s director, Mark Noble, said in a letter to employees and seen by the Liverpool Echo newspaper that the cut was in response to falling sales of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra Tourer compact station wagon built at the plant.
The four-day workweek is set to start on March 23, the letter said.
Workers at the plant fear that the shift to a four-day workweek could eliminate 170 jobs at the plant, which has already seen its staff almost halved since PSA bought Vauxhall and German sister brand Opel from their former parent, General Motors, in 2017.
PSA CEO Carlos Tavares has previously said the future of Ellesmere Port depends on the UK negotiating a tariff-free trade agreement with the European Union.