Bosses and union leaders at German car-maker Opel have been invited to crisis talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday. With its parent company General Motors struggling, Opel yesterday turned to the German government for help.
At its base in Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt, concerns are growing. One worker there said he’s worried about his pension fund as he is too young to take early retirement. “Let’s just say it is not a good feeling. You try not to let it get to you but you think about it,” said a female colleague.
Many of Opel’s 25,000 German employees are frustrated that the company’s struggles are down to factors that are out of their control. “If they told us we had a bad product we could work on it to perfection, that’s no problem, we’d find a solution. But in this situation we have no possibility of participation,” explained a worker in Bochum.
With General Motors facing the real threat of bankruptcy in the US, it is in no position to prop up its German subsidiary. Opel has asked German authorities for loan guarantees, thought to be worth between one and two billion euros.