With their Washington overlords breathing down their necks, GM executives are pushing Opel for a definitive agreement to close Opel’s Bochum plant. According to the Wall Street Journal, GM “would like to be able to announce the plan before or along with its third-quarter earnings, which are expected to be disclosed Oct. 31.”
For all the rhetoric being passed back and forth between the OEMs and the CAW in this round of contract negotiations, the overwhelming feeling from our commenters is that there will be no strike, compromise will be had, and somehow, both sides will play it off as a victory. The latest bulletin from the CAW seems to support that notion.
With the CAW’s strike deadline looming, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is taking a harder line in the media, pushing his vision of a profit-sharing agreement between Chrysler and the CAW, while boldly stating what everyone knows, but is afraid to say; auto makers have “other options” when it comes to building cars.
People in Europe had a lot of time to think about their troubled future during their long vacation. Coming back to work, they are “ready to shut plants and lay off staff,” as Reuters observes. Executives and union leaders are said to be in rare agreement over who to emulate: Obama, the UAW, and Detroit. Europeans want their bailout too. Some do, at least. (Read More…)
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: (Read More…)
GM’s troubled German daughterwill close its main factory in Rüsselsheim and its component plant in Kaiserslautern for a total of four weeks in response to a drop in demand for cars in Europe. (Read More…)
GM’s Opel unit is faced with dwindling demand and wants to shorten workers’ hours at its Rüsselsheim plant, media from Reuters to Germany’s Manager Magazin report. Rüsselsheim makes the Opel Insignia, and for that, the rapidly deteriorating southern European markets are especially important, an Opel spokesman said. A shortened work week at Opel’s engine plant in Kaiserslautern is also being negotiated, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says. However, this is Germany, and it is not as easy as is sounds. (Read More…)
GM Korea reached a tentative wage agreement with its union, Reuters says. Workers receive a little more money, and a major concession that could have far-reaching consequences for GM’s recovery if it sets a precedence in the rest of GM’s world. (Read More…)
GM has shut down all of its eight Brazilian production units near Sao Paulo “to protect the physical integrity of its workers,” the Washington Post says. It appears to be an euphemism that refers to union violence. Reuters has it slightly different and says that production has been shut down “for the day at one of its factories” in order to “not expose workers to possible incitement and provocation.” (Read More…)
Brazilians are unhappy with GM. GM is cutting capacity and jobs at a Brazilian plant. This made the Brazilian government unhappy, because it had cut taxes on domestically made cars, in exchange for manufacturers maintaining the size of their workforce. It also made unions unhappy. They voiced their displeasure on Monday by going on strike, Reuters says. (Read More…)