Talks have been taking place for several weeks and hopes are high that the new deal could be agreed by the end of April. The proposals, which see the introduction of Japanese-style working practices to make the two plants globally competitive, involve a 2.5% salary increase for workers this year, with pay rising by the rate of inflation in the following two years.
The new deal follows cost-cutting agreements by Vauxhall's parent company General Motors with plants in Germany and Belgium. At present the Luton plants builds the Vectra, while Ellesmere Port builds the Astra. Vauxhall chairman and managing director Nick Reilly said: 'If we are successful in our current negotiations we should be able to confirm the viability of our manufacturing operations in the UK.'