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Spain sees no more than 900 job cuts at Opel plant

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Spain sees no more than 900 job cuts at Opel plant


NOVEMBER 21, 2009 06:01 CET

MADRID (Reuters) -- Spain's industry minister said after meeting with a top General Motors Co. executive that no more jobs would be cut at a GM Opel plant near Zaragoza than previously agreed with former prospective buyer Magna International Inc.

"The Magna plan was basic for us. We now have the basic part, and I come away happy from this meeting," Miguel Sebastian told journalists on Friday after meeting with Nick Reilly, GM's head of international operations and interim head of its European business.

GM this month reversed a decision to sell a majority stake in Opel to a consortium led by Magna, a Canadian supplier, which had targeted about 900 job cuts at the Zaragoza plant.

Opel's Figueruelas plant near Zaragoza currently employs 7,500 of GM's 50,000 workers in Europe.

Union representatives in Spain have already said they would not accept any more cuts than those negotiated with Magna.

Reilly, a Briton who is currently in charge of restructuring Opel until ex-GM Europe boss Carl-Peter Forster is replaced, has said up to 10,000 jobs could go across Europe as part of GM's overhaul.

On Thursday, Reilly said that GM will present a new viability plan for Opel in mid-December as it aims to reduce capacity across Europe by about 20 percent.

Regarding support which GM had said it would request from Spain, Sebastian said the government would ask for financing from the European Investment Bank.

Sebastian added that in the meeting he had asked GM to make an electric car in Zaragoza.

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