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Opel's new boss to seek concessions from unions in pay talks

Reuters  |  FRANKFURT 

(Reuters) - Opel's new has demanded concessions from labour unions to make the loss-making German carmaker more competitive, ahead of what he said would be a decisive round of pay talks with labour leaders.

"After making losses for almost 20 years in a row, the status quo is clearly no longer an option," told Post in an interview on Thursday.

"To improve our situation significantly, we need to improve labour cost, global efficiency and to increase performance."

The carmaker's works council last month demanded constructive proposals from French parent after German sites were excluded from a sweeping investment plan pending the outcome of further pay talks.

completed a $2.6 billion takeover of last year as sold off its loss-making European operations, but has been frustrated in his bid to cut high production costs.

Management will meet on Friday with the works council and labour union IG Metall, two sources said.

Cutting costs at the same time as raising wages will be difficult, Lohscheller said in the Post report, adding that management asked IG Metall to suspend a collective wage increase during the negotiations.

The company cannot secure a sustainable future unless it becomes profitable, Lohscheller said, citing losses of 179 million euros suffered between last August and the end of the year.

He said he wanted to invest in Opel's German sites in Eisenach, Kaiserslautern and Ruesselsheim, but the prerequisite for strong investments was competitiveness.

"We need to be honest and admit that all of our competitors are already profitable and are continuously improving their performance," he said. "We are not at the level that would secure a sustainable future."

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by and Jane Merriman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 12 2018. 22:08 IST