RUESSELSHEIM, Germany -- Trade unions at General Motors' Opel subsidiary in Germany will discuss joint action with their U.S. counterparts to fight cost-cutting moves.
Opel workers' representatives also are demanding that GM export Germany-built Opels to the United States to fill underused plant capacity in Germany.
"In the future, we are going to block General Motors on the global level from playing individual factories and countries against one another," said Klaus Franz, Opel's works council chairman, in an interview.
Opel's works council and the UAW have scheduled a meeting for March in Antwerp, Belgium.
Among the issues to be discussed are GM's global platforms and the role of India and China in GM's manufacturing and product development.
Franz said tensions between Opel and its unions "will be coming to a head very soon."
Despite protests from the works council, Opel plans to outsource rail operations and factory internal communications services in Ruesselsheim. Parts-logistics work has already been outsourced to Caterpillar Logistics Services.
The move is part of an effort by GM to cut costs in Europe. Last October General Motors Europe unveiled its plan to cut 12,000 jobs by the end of 2006.
You may e-mail Harald Hamprecht at [email protected]