Opel has inked a collective labor agreement with workers at its German sites in Ruesselsheim, Kaiserslautern and Eisenach. The agreement indicates smoother relations between Opel management and its workforce, who have previously fought over the methods of returning the General Motors unit to profitability by 2015.
"For the company and its employees this is an important step toward securing our future," Ulrich Schumacher, Opel's head of personnel, said in a statement. Around 7,150 workers man Opel’s three sites in German. As part of the deal signed Thursday, Opel's management vowed: to provide the Ruesselsheim site an additional model to build; to continue building the Corsa and Adam models in Eisenach; and to continue producing components in Kaiserslautern.
The General Motors unit is set to shut down its Bochum site by the end of 2014. GM's CEO Mary Barra last week urged Opel's employees to accelerate the brand's turnaround, saying that the US carmaker was committed to supporting its European unit.
Barra has identified GM’s operations in Europe as one of her top priorities as the unit has already accounted for around $18 billion in losses over the last 12 years. GM has called 2014 as a "transition year" in Europe, where Opel will launch a redesigned Corsa subcompact late in the year. Opel will also launch a redesigned Astra compact in early 2015, along with new families of gasoline and diesel engines.