Imagine you’re a Belgian worker at GM’s plant in Antwerp. You’ve had to endure jokes about being the “sick man” of GM Europe’s family and had the sword of Damocles hanging over you. You then get told that you’re being shut down at a time when the economy is fragile, at best. How would you feel? Bad? Angry? Helpless? Well, GM’s just about you kick you while you’re down. The BBC reports that GM Europe are going to create an extra 700 jobs at their plant at Gilwice, Poland. But wait! There’s more! The reason these new jobs have come about is because they want to increase production of GM’s new Astra model, the very car which GM Antwerp made. The Gilwice plant will now operate 24 hours a day over three shifts. Ulrich Weber, Opel Spokesperson, told the BBC that “This has been planned for a long time, and will be in operation by the middle of the year,”. I’m sure that’ll come as some comfort for the Belgian employees. However, these new jobs in Poland don’t represent a change of heart from Vauxhall/Opel. They re-iterated their plans to cut 8,300 jobs across Europe. And by “across Europe” they mean those jobs in those expensive countries like Germany, Spain and The U.K.
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