Management and unions at GM unit Opel are set to sign a deal that would be a milestone for the restructuring of the German carmaker.

Workers will vote on an agreement that would lead to the loss of at least 1,250 jobs in Antwerp but allow the search for a new investor for the Belgian plant.

The plan then needs to be signed by local labor leaders, allowing Opel to exit its operations in Antwerp as part of an extensive restructuring plan to return the GM unit to profitability.

We completed negotiations over an MoU (memorandum of understanding). It's as good as signed, Opel's European labor leader Klaus Franz told Reuters.

Management still needs the commitment from its European staff for annual wage concessions worth 265 million euros.

Should Opel and the Flemish government fail to find a potential buyer for the plant by the end of September then the site will be definitively closed and the remaining 1,000 workers would also lose their job.

GM wants to get rid of the plant by the end of the year one way or the other, a spokesman for Opel said.

(Reporting by Angelika Gruber)