German unions declare breakthrough in Opel talks

FRANKFURT Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:02am EST

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FRANKFURT Feb 28 (Reuters) - German labour leaders at General Motors' loss-making Opel unit agreed with management to the closure of the Bochum car plant at the end of 2016 in exchange for job guarantees for the 20,000 German workers in the meantime.

Opel workers will also delay receiving the collectively bargained wage hikes in the manufacturing industry until the next wage hike for their colleagues at other German carmakers is already in place.

"It's true that we still need to work out the details, and the agreements still need to be formulated in an official wage contract, but in principle this is the breakthrough," Opel works council chief Wolfgang Schaefer-Klug said in a statement on Thursday.

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