GM will pay 400 million euros to close Opel’s Antwerp plant

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

By the end of the year, General Motors Co. will be shutting down Opel's assembly plant in Antwerp, Belgium. To cover the termination benefits of the 2,600 workers who worked at this factory, GM expects to incur costs of 400 million euros ($532 million). GM also said that the Flemish government will be leading the search for anj outside investor to sell this plant to.

This deal would have to be entered by the end of the September. GM had been in serious negotiations to sell a majority stake in Opel and UK sister brand Vauxhall, but last November, it chose to keep the brands and to complete a restructuring. In hopes of preserving the workers' jobs, various labor groups as well as the governments of these European countries where an Opel plant is located, have opposed GM's restructuring attempts.

Recently, GM and the plant employees in Antwerp entered a deal related to the termination benefits. GM anticipates that "a significant number" of workers will leave by the end of June in relation to this program. If the workers who decide to remain would later not get hired by a new plant owner, or if an investor is not found, they would get termination benefits as well. GM emerged from a US government-supported bankruptcy in July 2009. [via autonews]

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