German union criticizes Stellantis for use of leave scheme at Opel plant, Auto News, ET Auto

Union officials fear that Opel, which is bound by an agreement reached last year not to fire any workers in Germany until 2025, will put Eisenach workers on leave as a temporary solution that could evolve into a shutdown at longer term.

Workers at the Opel Eisenach plant, which was closed last week until the end of the year due to chip shortages, on Thursday accused the owner of the automaker, Stellantis, of exploiting the program. German leave to move production out of the country.

Union officials fear that Opel, which is bound by a deal reached last year not to fire any workers in Germany until 2025, will put Eisenach workers on leave as a temporary solution that could evolve into a longer shutdown term.

The Grandland X model produced in Eisenach will be manufactured at the company’s Sochaux plant in France until the shutdown is lifted, but workers fear it will be moved there permanently.

“We will not let this happen to us,” wrote the chairman of the local workers’ committee, Uwe Loesche, in a statement published Thursday on the union’s website IG Metall.

Last week, two French unions published a similar criticism of Stellantis’ use of the leave program, alleging that the company was using the chip shortage as an excuse to fire a disproportionate number of people in order to pocket money from the workers. taxpayers.

Stellantis did not immediately respond to a request for comment on IG Metall’s accusation. Stellantis did not say whether production would resume at the plant, the union said – but Stellantis’ own chief executive Carlos Tavares, alongside other automaker chiefs and industry experts, predicts that the flea crisis will continue until 2022.

The company has blocked production at factories in France, the United States and Italy in recent months due to chip tightening, predicting it would manufacture 1.4 million fewer vehicles this year.

Analysts said the world’s 4th largest automaker, formed earlier this year by the merger of France’s PSA and Fiat Chrysler, has a serious overcapacity issue that could lead to plant closures, although CEO Tavares has promised that his efforts to straighten Opel’s profits would not result in plant closings.

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Germany’s vital auto industry has been badly hit by supply issues this year, with factories for Volkswagen, Ford, BMW and Daimler all facing on-and-off production.


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