Opel Union Wants Negotiations With GM After Rejecting Deal image

Opel union leaders try to convince GM to begin new negotiations for the future of the Bochum plant in Germany after workers rejected the restructuring plan.

After 76% of the union workers have rejected GM’s deal, the plant will now close at the end of 2014, as the deal to keep the plant open by 2016 and save about 1,200 jobs is no longer available. GM officials announced that the agreement is off the table and that there will be no future negotiations regarding the plant’s situation. Bochum’s works council said that GM’s plan to close the plant at the end of next year makes no sense as the company will have to make “high investments at a replacement plant.”

“There must be further negotiations. This deal is not acceptable,” said Bochum’s labor leader Rainer Einenkel.

Initially, GM said it will keep the Bochum plant open until the Zafira Tourer minivan will end production and will be replaced in 2016. Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, head of the CAR, said that ending Zafira production at the end of 2014 will leave a hole in the brand’s lineup.

“Everybody was aware that the workers wouldn’t agree to this deal. It is really stupid to ask people to agree to the termination of their own jobs,” said Dudenhoeffer.

Regarding this issues, Steve Girsky, GM vice chairman and chairman of Opel supervisory board, said that even if this decision will cost the automaker more in the near-term, it will help the company in the intermediate term as car production will end early.