Opel's turnaround negotiations with German unions have gone pear-shaped again, as top labour rep Klaus Franz left talks denouncing GM's decision to cut 9972 jobs instead of the promised 8300, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fundamental questions have not been answered, fretted Franz. Management's plans seem to change on a daily basis. Rudi Kennes, a labour representative from Antwerp, concurred, saying the atmosphere between management and the unions has never been as bad as now. He added ominously that (Mr Reilly) needs to answer our questions.
Opel boss Nick Reilly stayed quiet on the matter, saying only that this was a private meeting. Stefan Weinmann, spokesperson for GM Europe, batted away Herr Franz's comments saying that the additional job cuts related to a part-time plan prior to retirement, to which workers had already agreed. Whatever your favorite flavour of spin on the situation might be, things look bleak for the artist formerly known as GM Europe. With governments hesitant to loan much-needed cash, unions already annoyed at the closure of the Antwerp plant, and management seemingly unable to communicate a way through the mess, this turnaround needs a turnaround. And fast.