German workers would go to Belgium next week to support “in a combative way” colleagues threatened with losing their jobs, Opel works council head Klaus Franz said on Wednesday.
“We want to prevent redundancies and plant closures across the whole of Europe,” he told Deutschlandfunk radio, adding that he would lead a delegation there on 23 September, reported news agency AFP.
Industry observers agree it is most likely Opel’s new majority owner, the Magna Sberbank consortium, would close the factory in Antwerp, Belgium though the deal is not yet finalised.
Magna, which has indicated it hopes to close the purchase in Novermber, expects to cut roughly 10,500 jobs GM-wide but has not said where. There are about 25,000 workers in Germany, 7,000 in Spain, 4,700 in Britain (Vauxhall), 5,500 in Belgium, 1,800 in Italy, 1,600 in Austria and 1,500 in France according to GM.
Other European Union countries fret that EUR4.5bn in German state and regional aid to the Magna consortium would mean German jobs would get preference.