The United Kingdom and Germany governments are now strategizing on how they can protect jobs after a proposed Peugeot-Vauxhall merger.
PSA Group, which manufactures Peugeot cars, is said to be holding talks that are engineered towards purchase of General Motors’ loss-making European business Opel, reports BBC.
Opel’s UK and Germany firms employ thousands of workers. In its Ellesmere Port and Luton plants, the merging firm has a staff base of 4,500 people.
Business Secretary Greg Clark has taken a hard line position, with promises that he would do all it takes to retain the manufacturing within the UK.
The deal is unacceptable
The German government on the other hand has been quite uncomfortable over the looming deal.
The country’s Economy Minister, Brigitte Zypries has termed the possible merger “unacceptable” considering its being spearheaded with the input of ministers or unions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said via her spokesperson that her government would discuss with the French administration on any impact it may have on the German employees.
General Motors (GM) chief executive Mary Barra travelled to Germany on Wednesday so as to cool any outrage resulting from the deal. PSA has also announced that its chief executive Carlos Tavares will hold a meeting with senior German officials over the same. Mrs Merkel may be part of the future meeting.
Her spokesperson has maintained that the Ministers will not be judgmental on the deal but the government will be part and parcel of the deal.
The announcement from PSA, which is 14% owned by the French state, comes a week after US carmaker GM reported a loss of $257m (£206m) from its European operations last year.
PSA has maintained that the take-over is part of its detailed strategic changes that its implementing.
Keep our jobs secure
The Unite union via its leader Len McCluskey has explained that it is ready for any “positive” meeting with Greg Clark, adding that the business secretary has agreed on the importance of the government being involved.
McCluskey said since Peugeot is hugely influence by France, the UK must also be part of the merger process.
“Our common objective is to make certain that we secure the continuation of work at Ellesmere Port and Luton and Toddington,” he expounded.