Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and leaders of Germany's IG Metall union, including head Berthold Huber, are scheduled to meet today (19 May)  as Marchionne attempts to win the union's support for his bid to buy a majority stake in Opel from General Motors.

Fiat and other bidders, said to include Magna International, have until tomorrow (20 May) to submit their proposals.

Opel workers are being asked to lower labour costs by US$1.2bn as part of restructuring plans.

According to Italy's La Stampa newspaper, Marchionne's plan for Opel does not include any plant closures but he does propose to lower output at existing plants.

Unions in both Germany and Italy have said that at least one Opel plant and two Fiat factories in southern Italy could be closed if the automakers merge.