Opel would have disappeared if the unions didn’t exist, labor boss Franz says

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 19, 2010

Opel’s works council chief said that if not for German co-management rights and the board-level influence of employee representatives, it’s likely that Opel would have gone bankrupt and left the market.

According to Klaus Franz, deputy chairman of Opel's supervisory board, employee representatives were fighting for more than keeping jobs and maintaining job security after Opel parent General Motors Co. chose not to sell the automaker and sister UK brand Vauxhall to a consortium led by Magna International Inc.

Actually, the works council members also pushed for upcoming products such as the Junior minicar and a new Opel convertible.

In Berlin earlier this month, Franz told the Automobilwoche Congress that they also campaigned for a distribution of European capacity that made economic sense as production has to be done where the vehicles are marketed. Franz is the leader of 10 employee representatives on Opel's 20-member supervisory board.

He added that German co-management results to entrepreneurial thinking being able to access the work force, resulting to an improved understanding of why measures such as cutbacks have to be implemented.

Franz added that he discovered that often, employee representatives are better at crisis management because they are rooted within the work force and they are trusted and do represent “continuity and sustainability.” [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: opel, germany

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