Published: Tue, February 21, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Theresa May to Meet Peugeot CEO Amid Concerns Over Vauxhall

Unite boss Len McCluskey plans to meet PSA boss Carlos Tavares on Friday to discuss concerns over United Kingdom jobs at Vauxhall plants in the prospective deal between Peugeot-maker PSA and General Motors.

"There's been a request for a meeting and we will try to make that meeting happen, but I am not going into what the nature of that conversation will be", the spokesman said, adding that the timing of the meeting will depend on "diary compatibility".

PSA chairman Carlos Tavares is due to meet the Prime Minister and hold separate talks with Unite chief Len McCluskey.

'It's the same approach that we've engaged with the German authorities'.

The plans have sparked fears of job losses in Britain, where Vauxhall employs about 35,000 people, as well as in Germany.

"I will be using this meeting to press the case for the UK's world-class facilities and workforce, and ensuring that Mr Tavares and the PSA Group understand fully that Luton, Toddington and Ellesmere Port, and thousands of dedicated United Kingdom workers, deserve a strong backer and a positive future".

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In contrast, a source close to Britain's biggest trade union said it was increasingly concerned about the future of Vauxhall plants in England, should Peugeot-maker PSA seal a deal to buy GM's European Opel/Vauxhall arm.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said it expected the meeting will take place next week.

A spokesman for PSA said: "Our intention is to establish the same maturity in our exchanges in France, Germany and the UK".

General Motors employs 4,500 staff at vehicle plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton and 23,000 workers in its retail network across the UK.

Speaking to Sky News, former Business Secretary Sir Vince Cable said Brexit would likely cause "a dimension of uncertainty" in talks between GM and PSA.

Feb 20 Chancellor Angela Merkel is constantly being updated about the progress in talks between the German government and management of Peugeot and General Motors about the planned sale of Opel, a government spokesman said on Monday.

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