What triggered the row was Stracke’s unwillingness to commit to Bochum’s future beyond 2016. Last week, GM started to negotiate Bochum’s closure with the German metal workers union IG Metall. GM offered to keep Bochum open until the end of 2016, that’s two years longer than GM’s contract with the unions requires. In return, GM wanted salary concessions from its workers, Reuters says.
Bochum workers say no deal. “We won’t pay for our own funeral,” Opel shop steward Rainer Weinmann told N-TV. When Stracke didn’t offer something better, the workers walked.
Meanwhile GM told Opel works council chief Rainer Einenkel that €500 million ($633 million) have been earmarked for Bochum’s closure. Einenkel says twice as much will be about right. “Includingh restructuring costs, about a billion Euro will be about right,” Einenkel told Germanys’ WAZ,
One of the reasons for GM’s stock being way down is the bleak outlook for its European operations. Massive firings can become a very costly exercise in Germany – unless the company goes bankrupt. It looks as if a solution to GM’s hemorrhaging will cost more time and more money than anyone expected. As things stand, losses for the next five years are pretty much a given. Unless …