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Head of Opel's home state calls GM job-cut plan 'unacceptable

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Head of Opel's home state calls GM job-cut plan 'unacceptable'

NOVEMBER 27, 2009 06:01 CET

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- The premier of the German state of Hesse that is home to Opel's headquarters in Ruesselsheim warned General Motors Co. that plans to cut 2,500 jobs there were "completely unacceptable."

Roland Koch said that the interim head of Opel, Nick Reilly, had told him just 24 hours earlier that GM's restructuring plan would "in principle" orient itself on job cuts agreed with Canada's Magna International Inc., whose plan to buy Opel fell through.

Magna's concept, approved by the German state and federal governments, foresaw a reduction of 1,400 to 1,600 jobs in Ruesselsheim through 2014, according to Koch.

"We expect that GM orients itself very closely to this concept and clarifies that the figures published by the media are overly exaggerated," the Hesse premier said on Thursday.

Opel is the one of the largest private employers in Hesse, and Koch has actively participated in talks for GM to cede control of its European arm in exchange for billions of euros in state aid to fund Opel's operations.

GM's board abandoned the sale to Magna this month just days before an expected signing, believing it could restructure Opel at some two-thirds the cost to the taxpayer while retaining full control over Opel.

The reversal infuriated the German state and federal governments, which had conducted difficult and complicated negotiations over the past 12 months.

Koch added in a statement that he was angry about GM's communication policy "that once again unfortunately is not building confidence among the employees and the government."

Antwerp confusion

Reilly said on Wednesday that GM intended to cut about 9,000 jobs at Opel across Europe, with 50 percent to 60 percent of the cuts coming in Germany, which hosts half of Opel's 50,000 staff.

He also said the future of the Belgian plant in Antwerp is "uncertain."

In Belgium, the head of the regional Flanders government, Kris Peeters, also complained about GM.

"I am not very happy at all that there is a confusion of information, no clarification, and always say something negative about Antwerp. I don't like it at all," he told reporters.

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As I recall, GM has paid back the Germany government? If that's correct, GM owes them nothing.

I know, right? I mean what are they going to do, make GM take all their jobs elsewhere?

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now you know why all those German cars are so complex. Gotta give em extra stuff to do. and yet the VW's still break down.....

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I'm sure every worker that has lost their job in the last year (or ever for that matter) also considered it "completely unacceptable". Doesn't mean their opinion on the matter meant a darned thing.

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