By on March 30, 2012

When, in early February, the first (unconfirmed) rumors made the rounds that UAW’s Bob King would get a seat on Opel’s supervisory board, the assumption was that King will speak for “the equity side.” According to the “co-determination law,” the supervisory board of a large German company consists of 50 percent equity side and 50 percent labor, with the chairman having two votes in case of a tie. The UAW, through VEBA, owns 10 percent of the stock of GM. That puts King definitely on the equity side. One would assume.

When AFP reported yesterday that “King was appointed by IG Metall, the German’s metalworkers union, to serve as a labor representative on Opel’s supervisory board,” it sounded like a mistake, something lost in translation between the UAW spokeswoman Michele Martin and the French wire service.

A few phone calls later, it indeed looks like King was nominated by the German metal worker union IG Metall. According to reports, King will take the seat vacated by the union representative of Opel’s Zaragoza plant. Why the German metal workers nominate a major shareholder of GM is anybody’s guess.

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5 Comments on “Modern Marvels: IG Metall Hires Bob King As Opel Board Member...”

  • avatar

    So the fox is in the hen house, eh?

  • avatar

    To neutralize him with a conflict of interest?

    Odd strategy though, giving up one of your votes to maintain parity. Admittedly, the initial parity, while sympathetic to your plight, would not necessarily, or necessarily not, have been aligned with your goals.

    • 0 avatar

      Doesn’t equity still get their 50% representation? King may seem ‘neutralized,’ but it doesn’t help if equity still has the same number of people on their side of the table without him. If anything, it strengthens their position by culling his empty head from their numbers. It also doesn’t make him beholden to AG Metall, because he is completely without shame or ethics. He’ll do what he wants, or what he is told to by Obamoros. I guess some other unions have leadership of similar merit.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    What conflict of interest. He represents the American Workers, not the Germans. He will have to favor shutting down production in Europe.

  • avatar

    Bizarre move. Never heard before, in Germany, that major shareholders of a company act as deputies for the workers.
    But let’s not worry. King will be well-payed to endure these conflicts on interest.

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