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British GM workers agree deal on Astra production

LONDON (AP) – British autoworkers have overwhelmingly backed a job deal which clears the way for renewed investment at General Motors’ Vauxhall plant in northern England.

Members of the Unite union at the Ellesmere Port plant near the city of Liverpool on Thursday backed a new pay and conditions package which the BBC said would see the facility manufacture its next-generation Astra vehicles.

Switching to round-the-clock production has been a priority for parent company GM Europe, which lost $700 million in 2011 and has been struggling to turn round its Opel and Vauxhall brands.

Workers and local politicians in Britain and on the Continent have been on edge over speculation that the automaker was planning to close one of its European facilities. Astra vehicles are also built in Germany and Poland.

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