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Ire at Opel over redundancy compensation

German carmaker Opel has unveiled plans for compensating workers who will lose their jobs following the closure of its plant in Bochum. The package is costly for Opel parent GM, but workers are disappointed.

Representatives of the automaker Opel and German metalworkers union IG Metall have presented a collective labor agreement for around 3,300 employees of the

car manufacturer's Bochum plant

, some six months ahead of its planned closure.

The total cost of severance packages and additional measures for employees to be made redundant at the German plant was about 552 million euros ($748 million), IG Metall said. According to trade union calculations this would amount to an average of about 125,000 euros for each worker who will lose their job. In addition, Opels the package also included an early retirement scheme for older employees and support for younger workers seeking jobs elsewhere.

Ulrich Schumacher, the company's human resources chief, said he was convinced that socially acceptable solutions were found. According to the meeting participants, employees reacted to the announcement with icy silence and occasional boos.

"The compensation is not enough and I feel betrayed by IG Metall," Hans-Peter Buxinski, an Opel employee was quoted by German news agency dpa as saying after the event.

Opel's plant in Bochum is scheduled to be shut down at the end of the year as its parent company, US-based General Motors (GM), is streamlining its European business. Only 700 jobs in the firm's goods distribution center in Bochum are guaranteed until 2020.

sri/uhe (dpa)

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