UAW boss Bob King told Opel’s Bochum workers to vote again, and to this time accept a deal that had been worked out between the German metal worker union IG Metall and GM.
According to Reuters, “UAW President Bob King, who is a member of Opel’s supervisory board, said on Tuesday that workers at GM’s Opel plant in Bochum, Germany should ask to vote again on the restructuring deal they rejected last month that would have kept the plant open through the end of 2016 and retained 1,200 of the more than 3,000 employees.”
The plan had been overwhelmingly rejected by Bochum’s workers. The plant is now scheduled to close by the end of 2014.
King, who oddly sits on Opel’s Supervisory Board as a representative of the union despite being the chief of one of GM’s biggest shareholders, said he “would really hate to see that plant closed when so much effort was put in by IG Metall and the works council to save it.”
The plan is likely to fall on deaf ears. “We gave the employee a clear choice,” spokesman Harald Hamprecht told Reuters. “We respect the outcome. The Opel supervisory board acted accordingly and we are moving on.”
Bochum’s workers have not been heard of, but it is unlikely that they are sympathetic to the plan. They had accused their unions of throwing them under the bus, and they probably won’t listen to a major shareholder of GM.
King is trying to curry favors with IG Metall, and to enlist its help for the UAW’s efforts to organize the U.S. plants of German transplants.