Unions Want Opel Deal Before The End Of October

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

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.

Opel and the unions have a deal that rules out plant closures and firings through the end of 2014. The unions want Opel to rule out compulsory redundancies through 2016 “and beyond,” Reuters says. This would save Opel immediate money, but it would also close the door on much needed capacity reductions.

The unions tell Reuters that Opel signaled its willingness to sign a labor deal that would go past the current horizon of its mid-term business plan approved late in June, which lasts through 2016. GM was hoping it could announce better news in its earnings report.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • El scotto El scotto on Oct 12, 2012

    GM has to give the raise and will probably do as little as possible with the union. If GM merges with PSA as mentioned in another article and has to deal with German and French unions well, I'd druther have a painful rectal itch.

  • BigMeats BigMeats on Oct 12, 2012

    God, is there anything sadder than 50-something blue collar white guys trying to keep their jobs? Good people, poorly educated but hard working and devoted to family. Dinosaurs, in other words.

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 12, 2012

      @el scotto Certain parts of IT pay very well and will continue too for the foreseeable future. Around the time I first went to college (1999) industry tried to offshore IT jobs, it worked out so poorly in terms of product received back many I have talked too said never again.

  • Dolorean Dolorean on Oct 12, 2012

    Looks to me that GM is trying to figure out what to do with the projected production that they had predicted and had asked from the Union to perform to 2014. Shaking my Mystic 8 ball, all signs seem to point to GM finding a new market for the glut of cars they had thought they could sell. North America seems very promising with the economy slowing moving towards coming out of its morass and with the apparent success of the its small car lineup, GM is poised to provide Opel's to a more energized market. Can't just slap a Chevy or Buick badge on all of them and can't waste the money creating a new 'Opel' brand. The more accessible solution seems to me to resurrect Saturn from the ashes, do a very simple rebadge of European Opels, and sell in North America. Obviously spit-balling here, but I don't see GM eating the inventory or letting the European malaise sink further into its recovery. Admittedly, I'm looking at this as Best-Case Scenario.

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 12, 2012

      @BrianL Buick died and became Opel US.