Meeting: IG Metall, Opel Works Council, PSA Group on GM Selling Opel/Vauxhall on PSA buying Opel Vauxhaul

“PSA’s ambition is to make cooperation with employee representatives a key factor in the success of the company,” said Tavares.

Given the potential acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall by PSA Group, Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA, and Xavier Chéreau, EVP Human Resources of PSA, met with Jörg Hofmann, First Chairman of IG Metall, and Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, Chairman of the Opel/Vauxhall European Works Council.  General Motors Europe has lost more than $20 billion since 1999. (Win, Win? GM to Sell Opel to PSA)

There is, of course, a large amount of ceremonial ritual about takeovers. The acquired are treated differently once they are in the harem. Remember the falsely named “merger of equals” between Chrysler and Daimler, when Daimler basically took over the company, stripping assets on the way. Beijing Jeep in China – the world’s largest car market – is now building Mercedes-Benz models.

“The maturity of social dialogue within PSA led to the signature in July 2016 of the “New Growth Momentum” agreement, with 5 unions on 6 representing 80% of employees,” said Carlos Tavares.

The combined volume of the groups could exceed current second-placed Renault-Nissan, excluding Russia and CIS  – the former Soviet Union  countries, making the regional European total more than 3 million vehicles (full-year 2016). Market leader Volkswagen Group is just over 4 million. GM now appears ready to cut losses in the region. This meeting yesterday was claimed to be the beginning of “a dialogue in the interest of the future of Opel and its employees. The common goal is to prepare the rebound of the company and its iconic brands.”

During the discussions, the impact of the potential acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall by PSA on the existing labor agreements, site protection and job guarantees are on the table. PSA Group in a statement reaffirmed its commitment to respect the existing agreements only in the European countries and to continue the dialogue with all parties. Given Brexit, English workers at Vauxhall’s plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton appear to be vulnerable.  (Brexit Automaker Winners, Losers – Predictable and Surprising or ‘Bloody Hell,’ What Does Brexit do to Automakers?)

“This commitment and the agreement of a further negotiation process provides the basis of further talks with PSA,” said Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug. “Tavares communicated convincingly in the talks that he is interested in a sustainable development for Opel/Vauxhall as an independent company. This interest is shared by us, the employee representatives. Thus, we are ready to explore further the chances of a potential coming together.”

See also: French Government Backs €7 Billion in PSA Peugeot Citroën Debt

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