Opel rejects new vote for Bochum workers on restructuring plan

Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:05am EDT

* UAW union chief had suggested new vote by Bochum staff

* New vote would only waste time - plant chief

* GM CEO declines to comment

BERLIN, April 25 (Reuters) - General Motors' Opel division is against giving workers another vote on a restructuring deal at the automaker's embattled plant in Bochum, Germany.

The head of the United Auto Workers union, Bob King, had suggested in a Reuters interview on Tuesday that Bochum staff should vote again to accept the deal they previously rejected to keep some of their jobs for a little longer.

Workers at the 50-year-old plant in March voted against a restructuring deal that would have kept the factory open through the end of 2016 and retained 1,200 of the more than 3,000 staff.

The Bochum plant is now scheduled to close by the end of next year, when GM's loss-making division will end production of Zafira MPVs.

"With every new discussion and any delay, we're only wasting precious time," Bochum plant manager Manfred Gellrich wrote in a letter to staff published on Thursday.

The IG Metall labour union said it had been approached by a considerable number of members asking it to seek a repeat vote on the restructuring plan.

Germany's biggest union will - should the number of workers demanding a second ballot keep growing - check if such a vote would be possible, said regional union director Knut Giesler.

On Wednesday night, when asked whether GM would allow the Bochum voters to vote again on the deal if they asked, GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson declined to comment.

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