How Opel will affect German workers

Stephen Beard Nov 5, 2009
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How Opel will affect German workers

Stephen Beard Nov 5, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Eight thousand auto workers walked out of a General Motors plant this morning. They are furious that GM canceled plans to sell its European unit, Opel, to the Canadian parts maker Magna. The question is: What is going to happen to German auto workers? Marketplace’s Stephen Beard has more from London


Stephen Beard: Magna had promised to keep GM’s four Opel plants in Germany open. Now GM has scrapped the deal, the workers fear that two of the plants could close. The German government had strongly supported the Magna purchase. And had promised more than $6 billion of state aid. That cash is off the table, for now.

Elmar Brock is a German member of the European Parliament and a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel. He says the government and the workers feel betrayed by GM.

ELMAR BROCK: They have broken their word. They have decided positively. And second time they have decided negatively. And this is I think not a good way to build trust with each other.

GM has confirmed that 10,000 jobs will have to go across its European division. It has not revealed where the ax will fall. But it says it needs several billion dollars to pay for the restructuring. Analysts say a number of European countries — including Germany — will likely foot the bill.

In London this is Stephen Beard for Marketp[lace.

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