Opel and the Labor Union in Talks About Shorter Working Hours image

Opel, GM’s German unit, announced it is in talks with labor union representatives about the working hours issue.

The workers at the automaker’s main plant in Ruesselsheim near Frankfurt, requested the company to shorten the working hours. Labor union representatives said that the negotiations will reach an end soon. Sources from the company also declared that the automaker may be considering shortened working hours at its facility in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

“Due to the deteriorating market situation in Europe, management of Adam Opel AG is negotiating with the works council and (labor union) IG Metall over shortened working hours in Ruesselsheim,” said the company’s spokesman.

Last month GM named Thomas Sedran Opel’s interim chief executive, in an attempt to bring the ailing European unit to profit again. Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, the labor union leader, said that Opel needed an urgent management change.

“We will continue to implement our business plan as it was outlined and work to improve it,” said Stephen J. Girsky, a General Motors vice president.

In November 2009 GM decided not to sell Opel and since then the company has seen three European presidents and the automaker plans another restructuring plan and the closure of a facility in Bochum, Germany.