Thousands of Opel workers in Germany have downed tools and staged a protest over GM’s decision to abandon a Russian-backed rescue plan.GM, the parent company of Opel, has reversed its decision to sell its subsidiary to Magna, a move that had earlier raised hopes that many jobs would be saved. Around half of Opel’s 50,000 staff are in Germany. One protesting worker said: “First of all we want to fight for our jobs. They’ve screwed us and they’ve screwed the German government.” Another worker said: “We want to give a sign that GM must reflect on how they treat us.” GM plans to cut Opel staff by a fifth, saying its European operations faced insolvency if workers didn’t agree to cost cutting. It also wants the countries with Opel plants to contribute to a restructuring plan. Observers say in Britain, home of the Opel sister brand Vauxhall, workers have welcomed GM’s u-turn. Opel workers had only just reached a deal on cost concessions with Magna after months of tense talks. GM says it changed its mind because of improving business conditions and the strategic importance of Opel.
Opel workers vent anger at GM