Belgium: GM Uncertain over Opel’s Future

Belgian Opel workers and government said they were unhappy on Wednesday after General Motors failed to give precise information on the future of the Opel plant in Antwerp.

Workers are frustrated by the lack of information about their futures.

[Werner Dillen, Union Leader, Opel Antwerp Plant]: 
„Again, they told us we were going to know something today, again we don’t, it’s very frustrating…so we would just like to know how our future is going to be…”

GM plans to cut jobs so that its European unit Opel can get back on track. The company would cut around 9,000 jobs in Europe, of which 50-60 percent would be in Germany.

In Brussels, the head of the Flanders government, Kris Peeters, also expressed frustration.

[Kris Peeters, Head of Flanders Government]:
“I am not very happy at all that there is a confusion of information, no clarification, and always say something negative about Antwerp. I don’t like it at all.“

Peeters has asked to see GM’s business plan for Opel.

[Kris Peeters, Head of Flanders Government]:
“… we want to have the business plan, that we want… clarification of the situation of GM in general but also the situation of GM in Antwerp and what is for the moment the news is that the future of Antwerp is uncertain.“

Earlier this month, GM decided not to sell a majority stake in Opel to a consortium led by Canada’s Magna International, opting to keep and revamp the business itself.