Union leaders demand more of a say in takeover talks

Opel unions are demanding more of a say in who buys the company from General Motors.

Union leaders have threatened to boycott planned efforts to cut costs unless they get a significant say in the talks. Unions have also called on GM to forgo any buy back stake in Opel/Vauxhall at a later date.

Union bosses claim no bidder will contribute as much money to Opel/Vauxhall as the unions and have threatened to pull out their financial support.

“Such an investment by the employees is linked to clear prerequisites and demand,” read a statement released by labour leaders representing Opel.

“The labour representatives would not make any contributions to the company without a participation in the decision process, regardless of whichever investor GM might choose.

“The existing Opel/Vauxhall plants should receive guarantees that rule out production shifts at least until the end of the business plan in 2014.”

The German government has ruled out RHJ International and Magna joining forces to launch a joint bid. Government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said yesterday that Berlin was not pursuing this idea.

“I don't know of any such option which the government is considering,” he said.

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