GM is remaining particularly coy today (26 July) concerning the future of the automatic transmission plant in Strasbourg.

Currently under the ownership of Motors Liquidation Company (MLC) the factory employing around 1,150 staff has been the subject of intense media speculation in France.

GM has managed to secure the signatures of three of the major French unions at the plant for reorganisation, but one, the Confederation Generale du Travail (CFT) is holding out against the deal.

The US automaker is not divulging details of the productivity changes, but they are believed to involve a 10% cut in costs and some reduction in working time.

But reports in today's French press say the CFT's colleagues in Strasbourg are starting to have their patience worn extremely thin by their confrères, whose hostility to GM's proposals is stalling the deal.

And there are even suggestions - extraordinary by French standards of labour organisation solidarity - that some of the less militant unions have been demonstrating outside CFT offices - with reports saying there are cries of "CFT resign."

CFT could not be reached to confirm those reports but GM will be watching events unfold with interest in Detroit.

It's clearly got the vast majority of unionised labour four-square behind its reforms and although the medicine will be initially unpalatable, jobs could well be saved.

There are more than a few parallels between the CFT and Fiat's equally awkward FIOM union in Italy. Just about everything Fiat puts forward from Turin is greeted with innate suspicion by FIOM - and this in contrast to a whole host of other Italian unions who appear far more placatory.

The Italian government has convened a meeting this Wednesday (28 July) with Fiat and its unions to thrash out a manufacturing strategy.

GM must be hoping the French government could do the same.