GM Accused of Separate Plant Negotiations image

Labor unions accuse GM management of separately negotiating with each plant to accomplish its plan of jeopardizing the future of at least one plant in the region.

On Sunday, May 6th, GM’s European division presented its strategy concerning the upcoming compact-car generation to the labor unions, saying that an important element to complete the turnaround plan could be finalized soon.

“After finalizing an information and consultation process with [European labor representatives] the company will decide at which plants the next Astra generation will be produced from 2015,” Karl-Friedrich Stracke, chief executive of GM’s European Opel and Vauxhall brands, said in a statement.

The company plans to take production of the Astra model outside Germany, saving the U.K. plant in Ellesmere Port, but jeopardizing the future of Opel’s German plants in Bochum and Ruesselsheim. GM hopes the Astra model will stop the losses at its European unit.

The current labor deal expires at the end of 2014, and so the plans for future production capacity at each plant are considered an indicator of possible cutbacks. It’s been years since GM’s European operations have been struggling, last year loses accounting for $700 million.