The European metal unions have accused Opel/Vauxhall of being a “bad example of big multinational companies trying to play off workers and unions”.
Following a meeting of trade union leaders from Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK they called for a united fight across Europe to prevent planned plant closures and compulsory redundancies.
They decide on Europe-wide measures and action in the Opel/Vauxhall restructuring case, saying it is “totally unacceptable for the company to announce plant closures and mass redundancies without any satisfactory prior information, consultation and negotiation procedure”.
The decision is in relation to the planned closure of the Opel Antwerp plant and further restructuring plans of the GM European manufacturer.
A declaration was drawn up at the close of the meeting, signed by all the participating unions, containing a list of the EMF basic demands which have been sent to Opel/Vauxhall CEO, Nick Reilly:
- The closure decision on Antwerp must be revoked and no forced redundancies are acceptable.
- A clear long-term industrial strategy for the Antwerp plant must be delivered by Opel/Vauxhall management.
- Full compliance with the agreed European SUV allocation must be guaranteed.
- Subject to the decision on Antwerp being revoked, any future negotiation on employee contributions towards cost saving must be conducted by the EMF and the EEF.
- Government aid and subsidies should not be used to finance closures and/or forced redundancies.
- Opel/Vauxhall management must ensure a fair European distribution of capacities, including engineering.
- National collective agreements in the individual countries must be respected and there must be a total exclusion of any kind of social and tax dumping.
- No new recruitment should take place whilst job losses are occurring in other plants.
- No increases in working time.