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October 20, 2009

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Spanish unions say no to Magna's offer

SPANISH unions have rejected Magna's latest offer concerning the future of an Opel plant targeted for job cuts and will vote on calling a strike, a labor representative said yesterday.

Jose Juan Arceiz, leader of a committee representing workers at the Opel auto plant near Zaragoza, told The Associated Press that talks last week with Magna had yielded some progress but unions still deemed Magna's offer as not enough. A consortium led by Magna International Inc agreed in September to acquire Opel from General Motors.

Arceiz said the workers' committee will meet today to vote on holding protests that could include a strike.

The Opel plant in Zaragoza employs 7,500 people. Magna has said it wants to lay off 1,350 workers and shift part of its output to Germany.

Magna said it wants to carry out layoffs in a "socially responsible" manner, Arceiz said. "We do not know what that means," he added.

He said there were also sticking points regarding a Magna offer to let the Zaragoza plant retain 72 percent of Opel's compact car production after 2013.


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