Friday, March 1, 2013

Opel, union come to terms on new labor deal

General Motors' Opel division has come to terms with workers on a restructured labor deal. The new agreement will secure about 20,000 European jobs.

After several weeks of negotiations, Opel and the IG Metall union came to terms on a new “Deutschlandplan” (Germany-wide plan) on Thursday. The new labor agreement will secure jobs and production for workers while giving Opel a break on pay raises.

The new deal guarantees production at Opel's Bochum plant, which builds the Zafira Tourer, through at least 2016. The plant was originally earmarked to close at the beginning of 2015. Following the end of production of the Zafira Tourer, Opel will turn the plant into a warehouse, securing 1,200 jobs.

The new agreement also guarantees the addition of a second model at Opel's Rüsselsheim plant after 2015.

In exchange for the plant guarantees, IG Metall agreed to freeze all German wages until 2015.

“Today is a good day for Opel and a good day for GM. Opel is and remains a key part of our global GM business,” said General Motors Vice Chairman and Opel Supervisory Board Chairman Steve Girsky. “This “Deutschlandplan” is an important milestone for Opel to return to profitability by the middle of the decade.”

Opel and its sister company Vauxhall have lost $18 billion since 1999.

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