General Motors pressing European unions to approve deep job cuts in Opel

Article by Anita Panait, on February 9, 2012

General Motors Co. wants labor leaders to agree on its proposed job cuts at its losing European unit, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed GM official. This comes as the company’s fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 report next week is expected to include substantial losses at its Opel/Vauxhall European unit.

The GM official told the Journal that there is increasing frustration with Opel, and GM thinks that the job cuts made two years ago were not deep enough to create positive fiscal impact. The official remarked that if “Opel is going to get fixed, it is going to get fixed now,” and the jobs cut will be deep.

The Journal, citing other sources, also reported that GM is currently holding talks with European labor officials over additional plant closures and job cuts.

Among the matters discussed was the possible shifting of some production from GM’s South Korean plants to mitigate the impact of the job cuts. GM spokesman Jay Cooney confirmed the company is working on a plan for Opel but did not make additional announcements except to say, “We are very committed to making Opel successful again."

In January, Reuters reported that GM was in talks with unions over the transfer of some Chevrolet production from Korea to Europe to stop Opel's financial bleeding.  The Journal said that no deal has been reached between the parties. The Journal added that GM mulls closing its assembly plants in Bochum, Germany and Ellesmere Port, England, affecting 3,100 and 2,100 employees respectively. [source: Autonews]

Topics: gm, europe, opel

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