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Opel Workers Demand Magna to Keep Plants Open for Two Years

Negotiations on the job cuts to be applied by Magna International continue, this time with another proposal coming from Opel's employees who are seeking to demand the Canadian - Austrian partsmaker to keep all plants open for two years.

According to a report by Bloomberg, labor leaders would agree with some job cuts and plant closures after 2011, but only in case the German brand does not complete the restructuring process, thus eliminating the need for cost-cutting measures. Armin Schild, an IG Metall union official who is on the division's supervisory board, said that Magna would need every single Opel employee, if it wants to successfully restructure the German brand.

"To give New Opel a chance to succeed, all employees at all locations need to be involved," Schild said. "It won't be easy, but we have a chance to achieve savings targets for a two- year transitional period without forced layoffs and plant closings."

Separately, General Motors today announced a temporary layoff in Spain, with no less than 600 workers to be suspended starting November to March 2010.

Spanish Opel employees demonstrated last weekend against Magna's job cutting plans which, according to some estimates, are hinting that the company wants to eliminate 1,700 jobs in the country when the Canadian - Austrian partsmaker will complete the takeover deal. Local politicians and union representatives joined Opel's employees from the Figueruelas, Zaragoza production plant as they marched through the streets of the city carrying banners and messages for Magna International.

Magna hasn't commented on the reports, so more details are expected to surface soon.
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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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