Opel reaches an agreement with employee representatives

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

Opel/Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly and labor leader Klaus Franz reached a European-wide tentative agreement in support of the company's Plan for the Future.

Negotiations have been participated in by the two parties over management's demand for 265 million euros ($329 million) in annual wage concessions. This was considered as the key hurdle for parent General Motors Co. to get loan guarantees from Germany worth over 1 billion euros.

Before Tuesday, a presentation is expected to be delivered by labor and management on their agreement. This Tuesday would be when the steering committee of the German state rescue fund will be discussing Opel's request for aid.

The European workforce, which is composed of 50,000 people, asks that GM deliver on their promise to invest in the manufacturing sites to avoid additional production shifts to Korea. In return, the workforce has agreed to certain measures, including a wage freeze until 2014.

According to labor representatives, GM didn't fulfill its promise in January to continue Opel production in Antwerp. This prompted labor to demand collateral in the form of 10% of the shares in the company.

GM is challenging the terms, compelling Franz to propose that the 10% would have to be held by a trustee who would steadily return the shares to GM as long as investment milestones are met throughout the five-year business plan.

For instance, investments for the Bochum plant would raise its chances of making a second model next to the Opel Zafira minivan based on the same global Delta compact platform used for the Astra.

Topics: opel, germany

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