14 Oct. 2021 22:29
On Wednesday there was speculation about a planned massive job cuts at Volkswagen. The group contradicted this. Now the competitor from Rüsselsheim is making the headlines: Opel is apparently threatening to relocate its Rüsselsheim development center to Morocco.
In the European automotive group Stellantis, the dismantling of the German subsidiary Opel is apparently continuing. According to an employee information from the works council, employees of the Rüsselsheim development center were threatened in personnel interviews that their tasks could be relocated to Morocco for cost reasons.
You should look around for a new job. The newspapers had the VRM Group and the Wirtschaftswoche reported. The employee representatives feel that their rights of co-determination have been violated. Especially since extensive and uncoordinated presentations about a new organizational structure were presented in purchasing. “There are increasing indications that the next Stellantis reorganization is not only imminent, but that in some areas it is already being implemented illegally without prior information, advice and negotiation with the employee representatives,” says the information letter. Legal steps have already been taken against this approach.
Last week, Stellantis announced plans to separate the two production plants in Rüsselsheim and Eisenach from Opel Automobile GmbH. IG Metall has announced protest actions against these plans for October 29, 2021. Opel’s works council boss Uwe Baum declared on October 8th that the threat of dismantling would only serve the goal of weakening successful co-determination in Germany.
The former General Motors subsidiary Opel was taken over by Peugeot parent PSA in 2017. This in turn merged with Fiat-Chrysler to form the Stellantis Group based in Amsterdam in 2021. The company is the fourth largest automaker in the world and is led by former PSA boss Carlos Tavares. In the tough restructuring course for Opel, IG Metall had achieved protection against dismissal for employees until July 2025.
Opel does not deny – but complains about “indiscretions”
The company initially did not comment on the rumors on Wednesday. The reported on Thursday HE DOES However, the management and the works council had issued a joint statement calling on the workforce to exercise restraint in public handling of company information. In the declaration signed by HR manager Ralph Wangemann and the chairman of the general works council, Uwe Baum, it is said that Opel is facing a “series of challenges”.
Further quotes the HE DOES from the letter that at such times different positions between the social partners are not unusual. These differences of opinion should be “exchanged and negotiated in the interests of a good social dialogue – internally,” the report continues. The aim of the discussions should always be to find good solutions together. The letter should also read:
“For this it is important that the different positions are shared with the employees without this ending up in public. The public announcement of internal messages within minutes does not serve this goal. Baum and Wangemann ask the workforce ‘urgently’, not internal ones Share management and works council communications with the public. “
Volkswagen contradicts plans for downsizing
On Wednesday, the news made the rounds that VW boss Herbert Diess had warned of massive job cuts in his group. In the meantime, the top management of Volkswagen has opposed speculation about the possible cancellation of tens of thousands of jobs. “A reduction of 30,000 jobs is not an issue”, it was said on Wednesday afternoon from the environment of CEO Herbert Diess. Previously, there had been reports that significant cuts could be imminent, for example at the headquarters in Wolfsburg. According to VW, there are currently no specific plans for this.
According to information from company circles, this is said to have spoken about the number 30,000 at a supervisory board meeting in September 2021. However, VW emphasized that it was not about a possible, immediate scenario of impending job losses.
However, it is necessary to discuss topics such as the cost situation and capacity utilization of locations intensively: “There is no question that we have to deal with the competitiveness of our plant in Wolfsburg in view of the new market participants.” This statement should primarily refer to the US rival Tesla and its new German plant near Berlin.
VW works council boss Daniela Cavallo turned to the workforce on the intranet: “The headlines from this morning rightly raised questions for many of you, and unfortunately some worries too.” Shedding 30,000 jobs would be “absurd,” she wrote. The company also wanted a clear statement on this issue.
Depressed mood in the German auto industry
In general, the mood in the German auto industry is getting worse and worse after a brief summer high. In September, the sub-index of the Munich Ifo Institute for the current situation fell significantly for the second month in a row. It is now only 13.2 points, as the economic researchers announced on October 11th. That is 18.8 points less than in August and 39.7 fewer than in July, when the index reached a multi-year high.
“Current figures show that the automotive industry is the sector most affected by supply bottlenecks with preliminary products,” said Oliver Falck from the Ifo Institute, explaining the development. In addition, the domestic order backlog and demand fell.
The only positive impetus at the ifo can be seen from abroad: export expectations increased. However, Falck warns that “the uncertainty of many consumers in China due to the crisis in real estate developer Evergrande is depressing the mood of German car manufacturers.” These would meanwhile produce more cars in China than in Germany.
more on the subject – Calm before the storm? Evergrande stock trading suspended