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Opel unions won't offer GM wage concessions

Opel's European works council will not offer any wage concessions following the decision by Chief Executive Nick Reilly to close the carmaker's Belgian manufacturing plant in Antwerp.

Opel's organized labor condemned the decision as a “breach of contract,” it said on Thursday, since parent General Motors had pledged to build an all-new subcompact SUV in Antwerp after the Flemish site lost out in a beauty contest among other Opel plants in Europe to build the current Astra.

Management at Opel want employees to contribute to the restructuring effort by offering €265 million annually in wage concessions.

“Millions of euros would have to be taken as loans in order to realize Nick Reilly's intention to close Antwerp,” the works council said in a statement.

“These loans would have to be paid back by the employees of the remaining sites in Europe and would not be available for urgently needed product investments and market development,” it continued. (Reuters)