Opel: Unions 8, GM 1
The best time to get concessions out of a company is before their IPO. It’s “how much for it to go away” time. The German metalworkers union must have had a crash course in pre-IPO maneuvering. The nagging Opel question was in the way of a successful offering. What GM needs is a solid restructuring plan for Opel. For that, they need the metalworkers. The metalworkers got themselves a deal.
GM’s board approved a restructuring plan for Opel. The deal (filling 150 pages) had been hashed out between management, unions, and labor representatives (which are not necessarily one and the same in Germany.)
This is what labor will get:
- Job security through 2014
- No more plant closures
- A 3.75 percent share of the 2014 profit
- A 7 to 8 percent share of the profits from 2015 on out
- Investments into new models
- Increased codetermination
- Opel will be changed from a GmbH to an AG
This is what labor will give:
- Salary concessions worth $337m per year until 2014
That’s it. The salary concessions money will be deposited in an escrow account and can be returned to the workers, with interest, if the automaker does not implement planned projects.
To appreciate the change from a GmbH to an AG requires a little knowledge of German corporate arcana. A GmbH is something for a small business. A large company is usually an AG. The nice thing about a GmbH is that the stockholder (GM) can direct management what to do. With an AG, the stockholders (and labor) will sit on the supervisory board and will listen to management proposals. A supervisory board can say yes or no. But it cannot direct management what to do. At least in theory. Die Welt already headlines: “Opel wants more independence from GM.”
It had been a tough poker game between Nick Reilly and labor leader Klaus Franz. Looking over the list, Opel labor pretty much got all they wanted. A little extra urgency caused by the IPO surely helped.
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
- Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
- ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
- ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
- Ed That has to be a joke.
Congrats, Opel. Now give me my Buick Verano 3-door!