• Germany's news in English
 

Opel puts cuts shifts to part-time

The Local · 23 Aug 2012, 14:51

Published: 23 Aug 2012 12:19 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Aug 2012 14:51 GMT+02:00

"In consultation with the works council and the IG Metall labour union, Adam Opel AG will introduce short-time work at its plants in Rüsselsheim and Kaiserslautern from September," Opel said in a statement, adding that 20 working days would be cut between then and the end of the year.

"The European car market is dropping dramatically," the carmaker complained.

"Falling capacity utilisation can no longer be compensated with measures such as flexitime. Short-time work is now the right way to bridge this weakness in the market," said Opel's personnel chief Holger Kimmes.

Under short-time work schemes, employees see their working hours reduced for a limited period, but the state, in the form of the Federal Labour Agency, partially makes up for the corresponding shortfall in pay.

The head of the general works council, Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug, said the measure would "secure jobs" and help limit financial hardship for the employees concerned.

The measure would be introduced both in the production operations, as well as in administration.

Opel has a total four production sites in Germany: alongside Rüsselsheim - which is the main site as well as the group's headquarters - and Kaiserslautern, it also has plants in Bochum and Eisenach.

Rüsselsheim employs a workforce of 13,800, with 3,500 in production, 3,300 in administration and a further 7,000 in engineering, with "around half" of the employees there to be affected, Opel said.

The Kaiserslautern plant employs a workforce of 2,500.

GM sustained a loss of $400 million from its European operations in the second quarter of this year, as the unit battles with the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and massive overcapacity issues.

At the end of June, Opel's supervisory board approved deep restructuring, massive investment in the product range of the Opel and Vauxhall brands, and a new marketing strategy.

AFP/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:53 August 23, 2012 by smart2012
it was a great decision from Germany not to sell Opel to Fiat.. Fiat bought Chrisler instead, which is now booming. Another example of short sighted view, and of the great European spirit.
22:39 August 23, 2012 by pelliot
Quick to blame Germany there smart2012. GM owns Opel, not the German government. GM simply does not understand the European auto market and frankly would have been forced to sell Opel had the US government not given them a massive cash infusion. Opel has been in trouble for many years and both the US government (via GM) and the German government have been keeping the afloat. Cutting their capacity and workforce by 30% is the only thing that can make them a viable company again. They make a good product, go drive one if you disagree. You were clearly uninformed on this topic... Now you can consIder yourself informed.
23:49 August 23, 2012 by zeddriver
That's a rather telling article. 3,500 actually building a product. 3,300 pushing papers around. Sounds like to many generals for the number of soldiers.
06:54 August 24, 2012 by pelliot
@zeddriver: Welcome to a world where cars are built by robots. The ratio of production / admin and engineering staff at Opel would be similar at most other modern automakers.

@agbjr: I agree with almost everything you've said. I haven't forgotten that GM has owned Opel since the 20's and that there have been many decades of success at both GM/Opel. However - as with GM in North America - Opel has also suffered from failed marketing and gross financial mismanagement, to me that demonstrates poor understanding of the market. Has the UAW in the US and IG Metall in Germany helped create this dire situation by pushing up wages -- absolutely, but the buck stops with management at GM/Opel and they are failing to keep the company profitable.
10:08 August 24, 2012 by M Australian
Opel (Holden) is to Australia what VW is to Germany.

Unfortunately Opel has an image & perception problem in Germany / Europe. We had this conversation over dinner last night and none of the 15 Europeans out of the 20 strong dinner party would have Opel on their list if shopping for a new car.
12:27 August 25, 2012 by smart2012
@pelliot. Marchionne had to meet Merkel to discuss the Opel acquisition. Why??? Cause Germany owns golden shares of Opel. Please, do not spread wrong information.
16:17 August 27, 2012 by raandy
Germany has some of the most advanced auto manufacturing factories in the world.

Check this VW factory out , impressive...

http://youtu.be/nd5WGLWNllA
03:54 September 1, 2012 by sally#
Opel's decision is best of a bad bunch.Auto parts maker Schaeffler also had a similar difficult time in 2009 after its takeover of Continental and the company also announced it would put 20,000 employees on short-time work in order to save cost. But now Schaeffler has already bottomed out.It created approximately 1,800 new jobs during the first half year of 2012. So I believe Opel will get through the low time as Schaeffler.
Today's headlines
Germany name squad for crunch Scotland match
Liverpool's Emre can has been called up to the Germany squad to face Scotland and Poland. Photo: DPA

Germany name squad for crunch Scotland match

7 minutes ago

Liverpool's uncapped defender Emre Can was on Friday called up to the Germany squad for the world champions' forthcoming key Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland and Scotland.

How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears
How will life for Brits in Germany change if the Brexit happens? Photo: DPA

How Brits in Germany are facing Brexit fears

2 hours ago

Greece is the talk of the town this year. But in 2016, it will be Britain questioning its EU membership. The referendum outcome could be life altering for many Brits living in Germany.

Honest senior rewarded for handing in €12,000
An 87-year-old pensioner found the cash in the bin. Photo: DPA

Honest senior rewarded for handing in €12,000

55 minutes ago

After throwing away €12,000 this week, a landlord in North Rhine-Westfalia thought he'd made one of the most expensive blunders of his life. But the money made it home safely, police said on Friday – and all thanks to an honest pensioner.

Refugee party against far-right CAN go ahead
Anti-refugee demonstrators carry a sign accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of being a "traitor to the nation" this week in Heidenau. Photo: DPA

Refugee party against far-right CAN go ahead

4 hours ago

Update: A court in Dresden has ruled that refugees and their supporters can go ahead with a party to demonstrate against this week's displays of far-right hatred in Heidenau.

Elite cops' hazing ritual: eat ice cream off thighs
A Cologne SEK unit on deployment in 2013. Photo: DPA

Elite cops' hazing ritual: eat ice cream off thighs

4 hours ago

Officers from Cologne's elite Spezialeinsatzkommando (SEK) police unit should be punished for hazing practices they inflicted on new members, an official in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) said on Thursday.

Knut autopsy could help human disease sufferers
Knut died in front of visitors at Berlin Zoo in 2011. Photo: DPA

Knut autopsy could help human disease sufferers

4 hours ago

Four years after Berlin's celebrity polar bear Knut died, a neuroscientist has discovered the cause of death - an autoimmune disorder which affected his brain.

Army buys in new guns to replace defective G36
A German soldier armed with a G36 rifle during training exercises in Poland. Photo: DPA

Army buys in new guns to replace defective G36

5 hours ago

Some German soldiers will be carrying different weapons within a year as the Defence Ministry scrambles to replace standard rifle which loses accuracy under hot temperatures.

Climate change
Sweltering summer has climatologists sweating
Dried out soil in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Sweltering summer has climatologists sweating

5 hours ago

Heat over 40 degrees, weeks without rain, sudden storms and flash floods – in the summer of 2015 Germany experienced all these things. Are these extremes set to become the norm?

Champions League
Bayern get lucky in Champs League draw
FC Barcelona' Sports Manager Andoni Zubizarreta draws FC Bayern Munich during the draw ceremony for the UEFA Champions League group stage on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Bayern get lucky in Champs League draw

9 hours ago

Bundesliga titans Bayern Munich were celebrating on Thursday evening after a Champions League draw that made them clear favourites in their group. Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach weren't so lucky.

Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?
Sitting front of the TV - Germany's favourite pastime. Photo: DPA

Is Germany now a nation of couch potatoes?

1 day ago

A new study shows that Germans' best-loved activity is sitting in front of the idiot box - and when they're not doing that they're probably slumped in front of a computer.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Weekend of anti-refugee violence shocks Germany
National
Half of Germans 'have had sex in their car'
Society
Deadly stew spooks home vegetable gardeners
Politics
The man who brought two Germanies together
Features
Where to get your culture fix in Cologne
Education
Fairytale world of Brothers Grimm brought to life
Rhineland
Thieves leave 1,000 open beers untasted
National
Way to some Germans' hearts is through their wallets
National
Germany's biggest challenge: European refugee crisis
Travel
Where to get your adrenaline pumping in Germany
Technology
Could thieves hack into luxury cars?
What to watch out for when snapping your lunch
National
German lefties through history
National
The fight over prostitution heats up
National
Merkel: migrants, not Greece, are the real challenge
Features
How I explained the Queen to the Germans
Education
Why Germany does 'back-to-school' traditions better
National
Germans are ‘not how foreigners think’
National
A mum and daughter reunite 70 years after WWII
Sport
Bra stops bullet in hunting mishap miracle
National
Cows trample German woman to death in Graubünden Alps
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,072
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd