Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Oracle of Delphi

Thousands Rally in Germany Against GM Restructuring Plans

40 posts in this topic

deropel.jpg

Thousands of workers employed by General Motors in Europe took to the streets Thursday, Feb. 26, to demonstrate against the giant US carmaker's sweeping restructuring plans and to save their jobs.

Thousands of workers employed by General Motors in Europe took to the streets Thursday to demonstrate against the giant US carmaker's sweeping restructuring plans and to save their jobs.

The protests came as GM's German offshoot Opel prepared to unveil a rescue plan for the German operations and the government in Berlin stepped up its criticism of the US-based auto group amid a deepening crisis in the global car industry.

Carrying placards saying "No closures in Europe," "Free Opel" and "Opel cannot be allowed to die," up to 15,000 demonstrators turned up for the rally held at Opel's German headquarters in the western city of Ruesselsheim.

Many workers were bussed in from other Opel plants in Eisenach, Bochum and Kaiserslautern to protest planned job cuts and closures.

Trade union IG Metall's boss Berthold Huber told the assembled masses that Opel could not be allowed to perish. "We're not going to accept plant closures or layoffs," he said.

Steinmeier pledges to keep Opel in business

Demonstrators listened intently as Germany's Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged to help keep Opel in business.

"This is a fight for jobs and I'm fighting without any reservation for you," Steinmeier said outside the company, which has been making cars in Germany since 1899. "Opel is a part of German history. We've got to defend that history.

"This is about more than just Opel. It's about the future of the car industry in Germany. The car sector isn't just any ordinary industry here. It's the backbone of our economy," Steinmeier, the Social Democrat's chancellor candidate chosen to run against Chancellor Angela Merkel in September's federal election, said.

Merkel told a news conference in Berlin she had not yet seen the required restructuring plan to decide on any state help for Opel but that if it needed it, the priority would be financing guarantees rather than more direct state aid.

"Germany has an interest in strengthening companies which have a strong foundation," she said.

Opel, once Germany's biggest carmaker, is just one of General Motors' European brands which are near collapse in the wake of the global crisis. The German firm has been hit by weak demand and its woes have been aggravated by troubles at its US parent.

It became the first European carmaker to seek a government bailout since the financial crisis began, asking the German government for backing to guarantee loans of about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for 2009. Sources close to the company say it needs 3.3 billion euros to keep afloat through to the end of 2011.

Economics minister blasts GM

At the same time of the demonstrations, German Economics Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was lashing out at Detroit-based GM, criticizing the company for failing to provide adequate information about future business plan for Opel.

The German Economics Minister said up until now both potential investors and the German Government still did not know what the GM group planned for Opel, which is expected to unveil a rescue plan possibly on Friday which Opel hopes will pave the way for Berlin to provide the struggling carmaker with aid.

But the European Commission warned Thursday that it would take action to head off countries providing what it considered to be unfair support to their national car sectors.

In addition to Germany, GM has operations in Britain, Spain and Sweden. However, GM's Swedish SAAB company has already filed for bankruptcy protection.

As part of the plans under consideration by Opel, the auto group is also weighing up breaking away completely from its troubled US parent that is threatened with insolvency despite $17.4 billion Washington lent GM and rival Chrysler last year.

GM's far-reaching restructuring plans include big job cuts worldwide and could result in its hiving off parts of its international operations.

German carmakers including Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler, the manufacturer of luxury Mercedes-Benz cars have already cut production and placed employees on reduced working hours as they face up to the global economic slowdown.

Link: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4058508,00.html

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I mean in a European sense, perhaps something like William Wallace yelling Freedom as Longshanks had him drawn and quartered ...... :yes:

You're no Scotsman! :fryingpan:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're no Scotsman! :fryingpan:

That's true, but they are my in-laws now that my niece married one. Speaking of which, I still can't stand him, even more so now, that I saw him interact with his mother, he is so a mommy's boy .... :rolleyes:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I salute the German people for standing up and showing support for one of their domestic automakers.

I wish that the American people still had the glorious, brazen brass balls of yesteryear to understand what is at stake and do the same here at home for the Big Three.

Edited by YellowJacket894
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I salute the German people for standing up and showing support for one of their domestic automakers.

I wish that the American people still had the glorious, brazen brass balls of yesteryear to understand what is at stake and do the same here at home for the Big Three.

:yes:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We didn't lose, who rebuilt our country? Hmmmm? :smilewide:

Long story short, the United States of America and the other Allied nations had West Germany and the Soviets had East Germany. The US and the Allies helped to rebuild West Germany to prosperity, the Soviets f@#ked East Germany deep and hard.

Now I'm sure I've threw an error in there somewhere, but I know I haven't drank away all of my brain cells just yet. I still remember my basic world history. :P

Edited by YellowJacket894
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Long story short, the United States of America and the other Allied nations had West Germany and the Soviets had East Germany. The US and the Allies helped to rebuild West Germany to prosperity, the Soviets f@#ked East Germany deep and hard.

Now I'm sure I've threw an error in there somewhere, but I know I haven't drank away all of my brain cells just yet. I still remember my basic world history. :P

And we thank you for all your Amerikan dollars that rebuilt our manufacturing base ... :smilewide:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting you don't see things like that in the US currently...workers marching in the streets in Detroit, looting and burning buildings, etc.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And we thank you for all your Amerikan dollars that rebuilt our manufacturing base ... :smilewide:

And you're welcome.

Just don't frown too hard when we call up your tab. :smilewide:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still don't understand WTF the big deal is... GM hasn't mentioned ANYTHING about "killing" Opel and I'd suspect EXACTLY the opposite since Opel is vital to the future of the corporation right now.

Can someone please enlighten me (Besides the German government trying to control everything and doing what they've always done -- think about it, you'll get the reference)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I still don't understand WTF the big deal is... GM hasn't mentioned ANYTHING about "killing" Opel and I'd suspect EXACTLY the opposite since Opel is vital to the future of the corporation right now.

Can someone please enlighten me (Besides the German government trying to control everything and doing what they've always done -- think about it, you'll get the reference)

They want to be free and independent of GM ...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I salute the German people for standing up and showing support for one of their domestic automakers.

I wish that the American people still had the glorious, brazen brass balls of yesteryear to understand what is at stake and do the same here at home for the Big Three.

+1

Too bad americans are so stupid.

I am a bit pissed at the germans though. If I were GM, they'd never get Opel back. At the very least, it'd sink with the rest of the ship.

It does surprise me though.. Since Opel is considered by many to be a joke.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

  • Who's Chatting

    There are no users currently in the chat room