Opel and labor leaders reach deal for Bochum plant image

General Motors’ Opel division announced it agreed with labor leaders on the outline of a severance deal for workers at the troubled Bochum plant, which is due to stop making cars at the end of 2014.

Located in a depressed coal-mining region, Opel said it would manage to keep some 700 jobs in Bochum by expanding its logistics warehouse – to achieve that, the company will invest 60 million euros in the warehouse and increase its workforce in the coming years with a further 265 positions. Furthermore, at least 200 out of more than 3,000 staff in Bochum will be offered an opportunity to transfer to other Opel factories.

Ulrich Schumacher, HR Director of Adam Opel AG: “In this difficult situation it has been our goal to come to responsible and socially-acceptable solutions for our Bochum employees. We have achieved this together – in intense but constructive discussions with the works council and IG Metall. We have reached an agreement concerning the most important cornerstones of a social collective labor contract. I am very happy that we can now provide clarity to our staff. “

Vehicle production at the Bochum site is secure for the whole year 2014 and will end as announced on December 31, 2014. Opel will offer individual packages to the employees affected by the discontinuation of vehicle production. These offers are based on individual needs and will support a reorientation of employees. Attractive compensation, a two-year transfer company and special programs for older employees will create prospects for individuals.

The plant closure is part of a company strategy to achieve profitability in 2016 after more than a decade of losses for GM in Europe. Also, earlier in March, employees at the 50-year-old factory voted against a restructuring deal that would have maintained production in Bochum up until 2016 and retained 1,200 staff.