GM’s Workers in Spain Accepted Wage Freeze for Competitiveness image

GM’s workers in Spain accepted the company’s plan to freeze salaries for two years to increase competitiveness against other plants in Europe.

GM’s plant near Zaragoza has 6, 000 workers who accepted the company’s five-year collective agreement. The deal was voted yesterday and the employees won’t get a salary increase this year or in 2014. The automaker said that this strategy would help the facility be “part of the company’s investment plans and allotment of new models.”

Since 1999, GM’s European operations, which include mainly Opel, Vauxhall and the Ruesselsheim plant, have gathered losses of $18 billion. GM, which decided to close a plant in Germany to cut costs, plans to break even on the Old Continent by 2015. The Spanish plant manufactures the Meriva small van and the Corsa subcompact, and workers here might se a 1.5% increase in their salaries beginning with 2015.

Around 67% of the plant’s workers took part in the ballot, from which almost 65% vote in favor for the deal. Due to decreased labor costs and the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s new legislation which makes it easier for companies to reorganize staff and cut wages, automakers such as Ford, Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroen are increasing production in Spain.