Opel labor negotiations resume on Friday image

Opel will return to negotiations with German labor leaders for two days of talks starting Friday.

However, according to a union boss, the two sides are unlikely to reach a deal over the restructuring of the GM brand. “I tend to consider it unlikely that we would reach an agreement by Saturday,” Opel work council boss Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug told Reuters on Thursday.

Trade union IG Metall and Opel’s works council will meet with management on neutral ground in the north-western city of Duesseldorf, instead of in the carmaker’s nearby plant in Bochum. Opel wants to shut down the Bochum plant by the end of 2016 at the latest.

According to Schaefer-Klug, there are still “major points” left to clarify that include the future of the some 3,000 employees in Bochum’s assembly plant that manufactures the Opel Zafira compact MPV.

GM Vice-Chairman Stephen Girsky, who has responsibility for the restructuring of Opel, has asked the two sides to reach a deal this month after talks have dragged on since June.

Initially, the talks about the future of Opel’s workers were to take place on February 11, but the meeting has been pushed back until the end of this week, much to the irritation of unions.