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Unions demand urgent assurances on future of GM European plants

Joint European unions have written an open letter to the president of General Motors Europe to ask for an urgent meeting about recent statements in the press which suggest potential plant closures and relocations.

European unions are alarmed by comments made in the media last week from senior representatives of General Motors and General Motors Europe. They say that the company's behaviour is threatening trust and cooperative working arrangements that have been established between the unions and management.

The unions say GM is ‘obliged under the terms of agreements laid down between the company and employee representatives, to share all plans and strategies affecting the future of the company, including its plants, models and investment strategies’.

Tony Murphy, the UK's chief negotiator on the GM European works council and Amicus' national officer for vehicle components, said: “The comments made in the press last week by Bob Lutz, General Motors vice chairman, are extremely alarming. They have an unsettling effect on all GM employees and facilities in Europe and, if they are at all founded, may ultimately have a devastating impact on jobs and plants.

The unions told GM that any public comments made about the future of the company without the proper consultation with the unions will breach consultative agreements made between the two.

"We take these statements very seriously and are seeking an urgent meeting and assurances from General Motors. They should be aware that their failure to do so will result in collective and unified action from the trade unions representing thousands of GM employees across Europe," said Murphy.

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