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GM U-turn sparks German strikes

Opel workers in Germany are going on strike later to protest against General Motors’ decision not to sell its European operations.

The move by GM came days before the agreed sale of a majority stake in Opel and Vauxhall to car parts maker Magna and Russian bank Sberbank.

Under the agreement, the German union had been promised that no factories would be closed.

German workers now fear GM will close plants in Germany and cut more jobs.

The future looks brighter for workers in the UK and Poland who have welcomed GM’s decision.

John Featherstone, a Unite union official at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant, said: "I am pleased we will be dealing with GM because we know them and we understand their culture - and they know us."

GM has said it plans to cut some 10,000 jobs as part of a restructuring of its European operations, though it has not yet said anything about where the cuts will come and it has not commented on whether or not factories will be closed down.

However, GM has said that its plan is similar, though not identical, to the one hammered out with Magna and Sberbank.

Source: BBC News

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