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GM Europe Seeks to Cut One-Tenth of its Workforce

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GM Europe seeks to cut 5,000 jobs: union
March 11, 2008 1:16 PM ET
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PARIS (Reuters) - General Motors Europe is seeking to cut about a tenth of its European workforce in a new round of cost cuts as the top U.S. car maker aims to stem steep losses in declining main auto markets.

"What is on the table is a plan for 5,000 voluntary redundancies in west Europe," Jean-Marc Ruhland, a CFDT union member of the European works council at GM, told Reuters.

GM Europe employs some 55,600 staff after a previous round of job cuts in the European sector which also included the closure of a PSA Peugeot Citroen plant in Britain and cuts at Ford .

BMW also plans to shed jobs and Volkswagen seeks to reduce labor costs.

Ruhland said some 260 jobs would go at the Strasbourg plant in eastern France, another 1,300 at Antwerp in Belgium, 900 at Bochum in Germany, 930 at Saragossa in Spain and some 300-500 at Russelsheim.

labor unions from various countries will meet in Frankfurt on Thursday to coordinate actions but at the moment they are still in a negotiating phase.

"We want guarantees that there will be no plant closures in west Europe until at least 2020, we want that the departure premiums will be calculated on the same basis all over Europe with the same set of safeguards," he added.

GM Europe earlier this week confirmed there were talks with labor representatives but called reported numbers to be cut "very speculative."

OPEL, VAUXHALL AND SAAB

GM operates as Opel on continental Europe and as Vauxhall in Britain. It already reduced its European workforce by a fifth.

The firm also owns Sweden's Saab brand.

On February 12, General Motors Corp said it would offer a new round of buyouts to all of its U.S. factory workers as it posted a quarterly loss that underscored the pressure the top U.S. automaker faces in its slumping home market.

GM's results, including a record $39 billion full-year loss, also pointed to continued risks for the automaker's turnaround from a slower U.S. economy, higher fuel costs and tighter credit conditions, others said.

GM finance director and new chief operating officer Fritz Henderson said GM would look to cut costs in its European operations and could throttle back further on North American production in 2008 if the market turned weaker.

The president of General Motors Europe said last week he believed the overall European market could show no growth at all this year, but the picture varied greatly between countries.

"Germany is recovering, Spain and Britain are down, but Russia is booming," Carl-Peter Forster told reporters during a briefing at the Geneva motor show.

Forster said that Opel had an operating margin of some 2 percent in 2007 and GM wanted to boost that. He added low profitability was not confined to Opel but was an industry-wide problem among volume carmakers in Europe due to price pressure as Asian manufacturers exported cheap cars to the continent.
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GM Europe to cut more jobs at Opel unit

Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:41pm EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - General Motors (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Europe plans to slash around 3,000 to 5,600 jobs at its Opel plants across Europe in a drive to improve profitability and streamline production, a German magazine reported on Monday.

GM Europe was in talks with labor representatives to cut jobs through severance packages and outsourcing, Auto Motor und Sport reported, citing unnamed company sources.

GM Europe has a total of 55,651 employees in Europe, according to its website. It has already cut its European workforce by around a fifth.

The report quoted Rainer Einenkel, head of the works council at Opel's Bochum plant in Germany, as saying that labor was examining management's extensive proposal for job cuts.

According to the report Opel plants in Belgium, Germany, Spain and Britain would be affected as well as a Saab site in Sweden.

A Opel spokesman confirmed there were talks with labor representatives but called the reported number of jobs to be cut "very speculative" and said the company was not planning a major restructuring or drastic job cuts.

"It's about a number of measures to further increase efficiency," the spokesman said, adding that if there should be a need to reduce jobs there would be no forced layoffs.

(Reporting by Nicola Leske and Jan Schwartz)

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There goes baby #2 for Mrs. PCS! :AH-HA_wink:

j/k

Not to worry, this is not meant for me, der Börger is beloved by GME, besides this is for the various unions employees in various countries here.

Don't worry about the baby, I'm still keeping my legs crossed, all 3 of them. :AH-HA_wink:

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