GM Infuriates Belgium Officials Over Antwerp Case

We finally got the first glimpse into GM's Opel restructuring plan yesterday but the US manufacturer's problems are far from being over. The fate of the Belgian plant in Antwerp is one of the major issues to be resolved as General Motors is still considering its options when it comes to this particular facility.

If we are to trust recent speculation, the Antwerp plant is still at risk. The factory employs 2,321 workers and General Motors tries to decide whether to shut down operations entirely or to begin production of a small SUV and remove only 750 jobs.

Obviously, this uncertainty attracted an avalanche of criticism from local officials who criticized General Motors for its lack of reaction in the Antwerp case.

"I am not very happy at all that there is a confusion of information, no clarification, and always say something negative about Antwerp. I don't like it at all," the head of the regional Flanders government, Kris Peeters, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

This isn't the first time when a potential scenario in which the Belgium plant might bite the dust is brought into discussion. A few months ago when General Motors was involved in deep talks to sell Opel to Magna International, it was believed that the Belgian plant would be closed, a rumor that led to protests and demonstration from local workforce.

"We will never accept the closure of a production centre, nor lay-offs without a social plan," Belgian trade union official Walter Cnop told the protesters in September. "Production must be shared out fairly," he added.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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