General Motors Co. wants that by mid-February, labor leaders should already sign off on its restructuring plan for European unit Opel, allowing the company to cut around 8,300 jobs due to the persistently weak demand. At GM's headquarters outside Frankfurt, Opel CEO Nick Reilly told reporters that he hopes to get the plan finalized in 2-3 weeks.
Many were upset by the recent announcement that Opel's Antwerp plant in Belgium would close, a move that one union leader called a "declaration of war
In response, labor has put on hold negotiations over 265 million euros ($373 million) in annual wage savings over the next five years. Welshman Reilly said that the talks have halted because of Antwerp but on Monday, the group will have its first meeting.
Aside from the 600 million euros in fresh equity that GM has already contributed to Opel, Reilly has requested 2.7 billion euros in state aid either as loans or loan guarantees.
He said that he doesn't expect to get the full 2.7 billion but he does believe that the company will get a "significant amount."
Reilly said that all European countries that host major Opel manufacturing sites (except Belgium) remain open to extending state funding in principle.
Germany is prepared to get a formal aid application from Opel by next Friday once an independent expert opinion required by the government evaluates the viability of Reilly's plan. [via autonews - sub. required]