Girksy To Opel Workers: Allow Me To Rip Out Your Heart, Or Else

girksy to opel workers allow me to rip out your heart or else

By Thursday, GM wants to have a definite deal with the Opel unions at least that’s the deadline Steve Girsky has set. The parties are further apart than Dems and Reps over the sequester. Steve Girsky wanted the unions to agree that Opel’s toolmaking, prototype building and central production planning will be outsourced, or moved to GM’s plant in Gliwice, Poland , Der Spiegel says. The unions are rightly horrified.

Should the unions say yes to that move, which would cost 700 jobs at home in Rüsselsheim, GM was ready to continue making cars in Bochum until 2016, and possibly provide a few parts making jobs after that. If there is a nein, Bochum will be closed by the end of 2014, or so the ultimatum goes. Opel workers are meeting as we speak in Bochum.

The interesting part is that toolmaking, prototype building and central production planning are centerpieces in the auto business. The engineering of a car and production engineering are more and more part of one big system. Moving toolmaking and prototype building to Poland would shift Opel’s center of gravity – into a Gliwice plant that just has been shifted back to the mothership and that would be safe in case of an Opel bankruptcy.

PS: The meeting in Bochum ended with the workers being told that there is no deal. Girsky wants a deal by Thursday. The unions say no to GM’s offers. It’s a one-sided negotiation: All jobs are safe through 2014 …

Join the conversation
  • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Feb 25, 2013

    so it seems gm pretty much all the cards, specially with the essentials going to poland. poor workers...

    • See 3 previous
    • Stephen Stephen on Feb 25, 2013

      @tatracitroensaab Of course that safety net exists because highly paid workers are paying heavy taxes to keep the safety net in place. Lose enough workers and there's no net.

  • John Rosevear John Rosevear on Feb 25, 2013

    I am no breathless GM supporter, but I can't help looking at this from the other viewpoint. Too many factories. Not enough customers. No sign of clue among IG Metall's leadership that they grok the reality of this situation. I can't blame Girsky for wanting to give them a hard public shove.

  • Seth1065 Seth1065 on Feb 25, 2013

    Well watching from afar what are the unions offering as a plan? I am not sure I have seen that. Europe is a mess and some will get the short end of the stick, not saying GM is right but is the union sticking their head in the sand??

  • Felix Hoenikker Felix Hoenikker on Feb 25, 2013

    As in North America, it will be the older Opel workers who have the most difficult time finding new employement at anywhere near their current salary.