Over 2,000 workers at General Motors’ Opel/Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, northwest England, are moving to a four-day week as a cost-cutting move.

Vauxhall told the Guardian the move would save energy costs.

“Vauxhall has concluded a new operating agreement at its Ellesmere Port plant, which condenses a five-day working week into four days with subsequent savings in utility costs,” a spokesman said. The move will also allow time for installing equipment to make the next generation Astra – a project that has guaranteed the plant’s future beyond 2015. Staff would still work a 38-hour week, the paper said.

The move comes nearly five months after a collective effort from Vauxhall, the government and the Unite union saved the factory from closure. Last month the Ellesmere Port (Astra) and Luton (vans in a joint venture with Renault) plants staged a ‘down week’ in order to cope with a slowdown in sales.

One anonymous worker at the Ellesmere Port plant told the Guardian the move was a “cause for concern” despite the pledge that staff would not have to accept a dip in work hours.