Opel labour talks resume Friday with no end in sight

HAMBURG Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:45am EST

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HAMBURG Feb 14 (Reuters) - German labour leaders will return to the negotiating table with Opel for two days of talks starting Friday, but do not count on hammering out a deal over the restructuring of the General Motors brand.

"I tend to consider it unlikely that we would reach an agreement by Saturday," Opel work council boss Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug told Reuters on Thursday.

Trade union IG Metall and Opel's works council will meet with management on neutral ground in the north-western city of Duesseldorf, instead of in the carmaker's nearby plant in Bochum, which Opel wants to close by the end of 2016 at the latest.

There are still "major points" left to clarify that include the future of the some 3,000 employees in Bochum's vehicle plant that manufactures the Opel Zafira compact MPV, Schaefer-Klug said.

GM Vice-Chairman Stephen Girsky, who has responsibility for the turnaround of Opel, has called on the two sides to reach a deal this month after talks have dragged on since June.

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