General Motors Co. to present Opel plan to unions this week

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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DUESSELDORF, Germany - General Motors Co. will present the restructuring plan for its Opel unit to unions this week, a program expected to result in up to 9,500 job cuts, the company's top official in Europe said Tuesday.
Nick Reilly said the company would inform "our people and our union colleagues" about the plan on Wednesday. He did not specify when GM would go public with details, saying only that they "will be released relatively shortly."
The number of layoffs is slightly less than GM's earlier estimate that between 9,000 and 10,000 jobs will be cut across Europe.
Opel's Bochum plant in northwestern Germany will remain open, Reilly indicated, saying: "Bochum remains an important part of the resources of General Motors in Europe going forward."
Reilly spoke after meeting the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, Juergen Ruettgers, who is a deputy leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party.
Ruettgers, who faces a state election next May, has pressed for the Bochum plant's future to be assured.
Reilly was to meet later in the day with the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate state, where Opel also has a plant.
Reilly, who took over responsibility for Opel and sister brand Vauxhall earlier this month, declined to comment on the future of other sites, but confirmed that cuts will be needed.
"To enable Opel and Vauxhall to have a long-term sustainable future, we do have to go through a restructuring plan, and that means taking out approximately 20 per cent of capacity, and approximately 9,000 to 9,500 people," he said.
GM shocked Germany and other European countries earlier this month by abruptly canceling the planned sale of a majority in Opel to a consortium of Canadian auto parts maker Magna International Inc. and Russian lender Sberbank.

Organizations: General Motors Co., Magna International Inc., Sberbank

Geographic location: Germany, Europe, Bochum North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland-Palatinate

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