By on August 25, 2012

New panic at GM’s European Opel dependence: Opel needs to shed 30 percent of its workers. This is the supposed target of a “secret strategy” that has been agreed between Opel and GM, says BILD, Europe’s largest circulation newspaper under the headline “One out of three jobs imperiled!”

Based on an anonymous inside source, BILD writes about a three-step phased plan:

  • Shortened hours, or “Kurzarbeit” are the start. This translates into savings for GM, “the German government foots the bill.”
  • Workers are offered a severance package. “If they refuse, they are threatened with a transfer to a lower paying job.”
  • “Next step: The message that shortened hours are not enough to save Opel. People have to go.”

Firings are contractually verboten through the end of 2014, an extension of the deal through 2016 is being discussed. “Therefore, the specter of insolvency will be used as a threat.”

Steve Girsky denied to BILD that such a secret strategy exists. Opel’s works council told the Süddeutsche Zeitung: “The report is nonsense, a canard.”

In a statement to Reuters, Opel says:

“The claim that Opel wants to cut one in every three jobs in Germany is untrue. It is irresponsible to our customers, our dealers and our approximately 40,000 employees. The Bild article damages our brand and puts our business at risk.”

In the meantime, “Kurzarbeit” did spread to a third plant in Germany, to Opel’s plant in Eisenach, the Handelsblatt writes.

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5 Comments on “Paper: Opel To Cut Each Third Job In Germany. Opel: Nonsense...”

  • avatar
    Polar Bear

    I believe Volkswagen, currently known as the Auto Master Of The Universe, or The Wolfsburg Force Sweeping All Before It, used kurtzarbeit too.

  • avatar

    Thanks for keeping up with this Bertel. While the articles covering the European car industry clearly don’t generate as much interest as the reviews, they are a big part of why I read TTAC.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree, but would also like to hear about other companies in Europe. How is Toyota or Honda doing financially there. Are Renault and Nissan collaborating further etc etc.

  • avatar

    If GM/Opel agreed to a policy where no union workers can be fired or laid off, then they deserve all the problems that they have. GM is just run by very incompetent yet greedy people that have no concept on how to run a business and deal with unions.

  • avatar

    “the German government foots the bill.”

    German Government made up rules to not allow workforce reduction (which is a normal procedure in free economy) and now German Government pays a price? What a piece of crap by BILD! American tax payers pay the price as usual. We keep GM afloat by our tax money and GM uses it to pay ridiculous benefits and severance packages for Germans so they can have life time generous pensions and benefits while we have to work long hours and with no pensions in sight. Meanwhile US taxpayers provide the defense budget to protect Germany which is a big deal and they still have the audacity to blame us in every turn? GM should get rid of Opel when it could.

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