Opel Knows What The EU Likes

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Imagine you’re a Belgian worker at GM’s plant in Antwerp. You’ve had to endure jokes about being the “sick man” of GM Europe’s family and had the sword of Damocles hanging over you. You then get told that you’re being shut down at a time when the economy is fragile, at best. How would you feel? Bad? Angry? Helpless? Well, GM’s just about you kick you while you’re down. The BBC reports that GM Europe are going to create an extra 700 jobs at their plant at Gilwice, Poland. But wait! There’s more! The reason these new jobs have come about is because they want to increase production of GM’s new Astra model, the very car which GM Antwerp made. The Gilwice plant will now operate 24 hours a day over three shifts. Ulrich Weber, Opel Spokesperson, told the BBC that “This has been planned for a long time, and will be in operation by the middle of the year,”. I’m sure that’ll come as some comfort for the Belgian employees. However, these new jobs in Poland don’t represent a change of heart from Vauxhall/Opel. They re-iterated their plans to cut 8,300 jobs across Europe. And by “across Europe” they mean those jobs in those expensive countries like Germany, Spain and The U.K.

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  • Forraymond Forraymond on Feb 20, 2010

    There are many reasons that Unions came to be. The main reason was for worker protection and safety. Corporations were out of control, similar to the way conditions are in so many counties around the world. Unions, or something like a union, are the direct outcome of corporate abuse of workers. Now, with Corporations given the privilege/power to buy elections, I can imagine that the anti-union laws will get even stronger. Reagan was the beginning of the end of any protection for workers (think Air Traffic Controllers) in America.

  • Tech98 Tech98 on Feb 20, 2010

    This reminds me of IBM, who in the midst of laying off thousands of American professionals offered them jobs at their expanding operations in India -- at Indian pay scales. Jerks.

  • Forraymond Forraymond on Feb 20, 2010

    With the Politicians being financed by the large corporations, laws have been changed to allow IBM, GM, BofA and others to send American jobs and American money elsewhere in their crusade to destroy the American unions. This is what has happened since Americans started being fooled by "conservatives". They say one thing and do another (both parties).

  • Kitzler Kitzler on Feb 20, 2010

    If you own a piece of these corporations, then the corporations work for you. In such cases, you do have a voice in shareholder meeting to express your discontent about executive pay or whatever else bothers you. BUT, in all instances when you keep your mouth shut or go along with union or executive abuse, then you ought to swallow hard and let these corporations act in the best interest of their owners. As far as the worker is concerned, if he/she thinks they are being exploited, then quit and find a better job. NOBODY owes you a living.

    • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Feb 20, 2010

      + 1 I think I'm underpaid and exploited at my job too and want more money... but I can get an education, or apply for a better job to make that happen, or do a good job and get promoted. Sure there are shity employers that never value the "human resource". but one can leave them. Good and succesful companies value their (good) workers and develop them. In the end employees are just a necessity. noone wants to create jobs, that is just a lie to get tax money. Everyone wants to build and sell computers, airplanes, bread and employees are necessary to do so. Demand and supply. Obvioulsy there is a shortage of skilled and educated workers, and they can find good jobs. there is oversupply of uneducated workers, and their wages will be lower and they are less likely to find jobs. Has been that way for 100000 years, the talented blacksmith always had good money since he could make tools at Ceasars times, the untalented one became an underpaid laborer. Has been the same in Communism, so all the union people, don't hold your breath, going to North Korea won't bring you a better life either. It is just how humans are.