Opel has started offering severance packages to the 300 employees that make transmissions at its Bochum, Germany, facility, who volunteer to leave this year as the carmaker prepares to shut down the plant.
The deal was reached between Opel management, the works council there and the union and is independent of any talks on what happens to employees at the Bochum car making unit that’s scheduled to shut down by the end of 2014. The Bochum site workforce had a tally of 3,200 people at the end of 2012.
“The agreement includes very fair compensation payments and regulations that help employees in reorientation and offers them a perspective,” said Alexander Bazio, an Opel spokesman in Bochum.
The program includes the option for workers to start work at a transfer company for 12 months that helps them prepare for a new position, Opel and the IG Metall union both said in separate statements. Employees can also choose to shift to the vehicle-assembly line at Bochum or transfer to another Opel manufacturing facility.
GM decided to stop making cars at Bochum after workers decided to reject a proposal for salary diminution in exchange for keeping the plant up and running until 2016. Employees at Opel facilities in the German towns of Eisenach, Kaiserslautern, Dudenhofen and Ruesselsheim already accepted a wage freeze to preserve their positions.