More Rumors: GM to Cut 8,300 Opel Jobs, Close Antwerp

As General Motors continues negotiations with involved parties over Opel's fate, more rumors are emerging, this time pointing to fewer job cuts across Europe. According to a report by Reuters citing sources familiar with the matter, the US-based manufacturer intends to eliminate around 8,300 jobs and shut down the Antwerp plant entirely. However, Nick Reilly, interim boss of Opel and Vauxhall, said that Antwerp's future is still uncertain.

A decision is yet to be made but Opel's employees in Belgium made it clear that they won't accept plant closures.

Similar rumors regarding a potential closure of the Belgian plant also circulated a few months ago when it was believed that Magna International, the Canadian - Austrian entity seen as favorite to buy Opel, intended to close the factory. Workers at the Antwerp plant protested against Magna's plans and emphasized that reorganization cuts should come in the same amount all over Europe.

"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.

The uncertainty surrounding the Belgian plant also angered local officials who demanded General Motors to put things straight in this matter.

"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 back in November.
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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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