FRANKFURT, March 21 Employees at the Bochum,
Germany car plant of General Motors' Opel unit have
rejected a restructuring deal agreed by union leaders and
management, meaning production at the plant will now cease at
the end of next year, the company said.
Management had offered to keep the plant open for another
two years until the end of 2016 and then retain 1,200 of the
more than 3,000 employees in other component and warehousing
jobs. In exchange workers would have had to agree to wage
increases being delayed.
GM's second-largest brand behind only Chevrolet, Opel has
lost billions in recent years as European car sales have plunged
to near 20-year lows, despite repeated bouts of job cuts that
included closing a car plant in Belgium at the end of 2010.
However, 76 percent of employees taking part in a vote at
the site rejected the plan, said the IG Metall union, with union
leaders saying the employees found the management's promises too
Opel said it will now cease production of Zafira Tourer
vehicles at the end of 2014 and at that date a guarantee to not
make any compulsory redundancies also expires.
"I see the result as a clear vote of no confidence in the
Opel management," IG Metall's regional head Knut Giesler said on
Opel said it regretted that the employees did not accept the
"A big chance has been lost," Manfred Gellrich, head of the
Opel plant in Bochum said. He confirmed there would be no