Opel Employees Demand Talks With Management image

On Monday, March 19th, union leaders from GM’s loss-making plants in Europe accused managers of conducting a policy of “divide and rule” and blocking talks on the future of operations.

The chief European labor leader at GM’s Opel unit, Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, said that management’s discussions with workers have nor progressed in any meaningful way.

“The talks are one-sided, demanding further concessions from labor, but not offering any better prospects for the future in exchange,” declared Rainer Einenkel, works council chief from the endangered German plant in Bochum.

The demand was signed by staff representatives from European vehicle and component site, Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in the UK and the Zaragoza site in Spain. European labor leaders at GM’S Opel and France’s PSA agreed to work together to avoid eventual job cuts which could be the result of the alliance between GM and Peugeot made last month, targeting annual costs of $2 billion.

At the beginning of March Opel’s CEO told reporters the company was in talks with labor leaders but doubted that a decision would come soon concerning the future of endangered plants like Germany’s Bochum site.

“We are currently in a dialogue with the works councils from all of our sites. We believe It will take some months. It is not a short term thing, where we would say we will present the plan tomorrow,” Stracke said.