UAW President Bob King might join GM Opel board

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 13, 2012

In a previous Reuters report, sources said that UAW President Bob King will be named to the Opel board by German union IG Metall next month but until today, no appointment has been made yet. King said that if the German union asks him, he will join the board of General Motors' Opel unit.

The sources had informed Reuters in the past that the U.S. union chief met with his Opel counterpart, Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug, in Detroit, last Monday. GM didn’t comment on the possibility of King being a member of the Opel board. In previous statements, GM and IG Metall said that they are collaborating so that Opel will become profitable once again.

King said that IG Metall has yet to decide who will be named to Opel’s board. King had talked to reporters during a recent event in Flint, Mich., for the 75th anniversary of a sit-down strike that led to GM finally recognizing the union. King later told Reuters that he will accomplish what IG Metall requires, adding that this is a “great union.”

He said that Opel faces difficult challenges in being profitable and that sources said that GM Europe will incur losses of between $292 million and $568 million when the U.S. automaker posts its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 16.

To lessen costs, GM is working with Opel union leaders. Opel's existing labor deal, which is effective through 2014, prevents job cuts or plant closures. King is hoping to get IG Metall’s support for the UAW's efforts to organize the U.S. plants of Volkswagen and Daimler's Mercedes-Benz. He also said that he isn’t likely to endorse any quick plant closures in Europe.

Topics: uaw, gm, opel

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