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Labor boss outlines where GM's ax will fall at Opel/Vauxhall

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Labor boss outlines where GM's ax will fall at Opel/Vauxhall

NOVEMBER 26, 2009 07:56 CET

RUESSELSHEIM (Reuters) -- General Motors Co. has targeted Germany for the bulk of 9,000 planned job cuts at Opel, turning the tables on the country that lobbied hardest for an Opel sale to Canadian supplier Magna International Inc.

GM Europe head Nick Reilly said 50-60 percent of the proposed job cuts in Opel had been earmarked for Germany.

He said he hoped to wrap up details -- including the "uncertain" future of the Belgian plant in Antwerp -- during talks with labor leaders.

GM earlier this month decided to keep Opel and its British sister brand Vauxhall instead of selling a majority stake to Magna and Russian state lender Sberbank. The automaker aims to reduce its production across Europe by 20 percent as part of a big reorganization of the money-losing division.

Opel's top labor leader Klaus Franz detailed GM's plans to cut nearly a fifth of its 50,000 European workforce.

The following is a summary:

• Ruesselsheim, Germany: Nearly 2,500 jobs at Opel's headquarters to go -- 1,300 in administration, 862 in production, 548 in engineering and development center.

• Antwerp, Belgium: GM has not yet decided the fate of the plant, which employs 2,321 workers. If it closes the plant, all workers will go. If GM decides to build a small SUV there, as agreed in April 2008, then only 750 jobs would be cut.

• Bochum, Germany - 1,799 jobs to go.

• Zaragoza, Spain - The Corsa five-door and Meriva plant would see losses of 900 jobs.

• Luton, England - The light commercial vehicle plant, which builds Renault Trafic and Opel Vivaro vans, would see 354 jobs eliminated.

• Eisenach, Germany - The Corsa three-door plant would lose 300 jobs.

• Kaiserslautern, Germany - The powertrain plant would also lose 300 jobs.

• Ellesmere Port, England - No jobs at risk at the main Astra plant.

• Gliwice, Poland - No jobs at risk.

• Szentgotthard, Hungary - No jobs at risk in powertrain plant.

• Aspern, Austria - No jobs at risk in powertrain plant near Vienna.

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