Down to the wire, and nothing: German unions had set Opel a deadline until today to come to an agreement about the future of Opel. The unions had offered to forgo a 4.3 percent pay hike and waive future pay raises if Opel extends a moratorium on plant closures through 2016. Today’s deadline passed without an agreement, Reuters says. (Read More…)
German unions know that “end of October” means more for GM than October 31. German unions now demand a final deal with Opel by October 26. If there is no deal, it will cost Opel: Opel can defer paying a 4.3 percent industry-wide wage rise until October 31, if there is no deal, Opel has to pay. Also on October 31, GM will publish its third-quarter earnings. (Read More…)
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.”
Keep smoking. (Read More…)
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.
A report by Reuters suggests that the Canadian Auto Worker’s union may take the unprecedented step of striking at the plants of all three domestic automakers.
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…)
The CAW may abandon their tactic of using negotiations with one automaker as a precedent for other negotiations, and conduct simultaneous talks with Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
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:
GM’s troubled German daughter will 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…)