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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

U.S. government to leave Opel choice to GM

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WASHINGTON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The Obama administration pledged on Monday to stay out of General Motors Co's choice of a buyer for its Opel unit in Europe as German union leaders put more pressure on the U.S. automaker to make a decision.

Negotiations over Opel, which GM is selling as part of a government-orchestrated restructuring, have dragged on for months, frustrating its 50,000 employees.

On Monday, labor leaders for Opel's 25,000 workers in Germany protested the delay by rescinding an agreement to forego their vacation pay, demanding some 70 million euros ($100.1 million) in cash next week, sources familiar with the action told Reuters.

"This is the first warning shot," said one of the workers, who requested anonymity.

GM had been expected to reach a decision on Friday on whether to sell Opel to Canadian automotive company Magna International , Berlin's favored bidder, or to Brussels-based bidder RHJ International , but it failed to make a final decision.

more at link:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090824/...usiness_us_opel

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