Vauxhall's largest union in the UK says plant workers will be paid during a week's production halt later this month which will also see Opel factories across Europe shut down.

The General Motors Europe division will halt production for a week from 24 September for one week in response to an overall slowdown in European orders resulting from a chronic lack of consumer confidence.

"Because of the downturn in orders, there will be a week lay-off/shut-down from Monday, 24 September at GM plants across Europe," a Unite union spokesman in the UK told just-auto. "Workers will be paid."

News of GM's radical move comes as the automaker - along with its new partner PSA Peugeot Citroen - looks to address overcapacity issues in Europe.

The week-long shut down follows Opel's recent announcement it would cut production and supply manufacturing at its Russelsheim and Kaiserslautern plants by 20 days until the end of the year.

What Germans call kurzarbeit, or short-time working, will see around 9,000 staff at both factories having to take a pay cut although the German government and Opel will both step in to partially reimburse staff for lost wages.

Kaiserslautern is affected as it produces engines and body parts for Astras assembled at Russelsheim. No specific dates are yet known in September when output in sections such as stamping and welding will be cut but plants will implement individual solutions, according to Opel.

It is believed the deal has secured backing from Opel's works council but, apart from its comments to just-auto today, the Unite union in the UK declined to add anything further concerning the implications of the extra shut-down at what are believed to be Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port [Astra] and Luton [the van joint venture with Renault] plants.

Neither Vauxhall in the UK nor General Motors Europe was immediately available for comment.