Trying to make the best of a nasty situation for everyone involved, Opel has reportedly worked out an agreement with its Works Council and the IG Metall union to reduce working hours at two of its plants. From the end of September until the end of the year, there will be 20 days of short shifts and short working days for two Opel facilities: the Rüsselsheim factory that builds the Insignia and Astra and the Kaiserslautern component plant. About half of the 13,800 Rüsselsheim employees will be affected, including everyone but engineers, along with all 2,500 workers at Kaiserslautern.

The move helps keep people employed, and a German goverment program called Kurzarbeit – short work – will reimburse workers either 60 or 67 percent of their lost wages. Analysts commenting on the plan say, yet again, that it will not help the practically Europe-wide issue of overcapacity, which in the case of General Motors is said to equal the output of ten factories. Nor will it help Opel's slide: deliveries in the first half of this year are down 15 percent. The Adam subcompact and the promised restructuring can't come soon enough.
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Opel makes use of short work until the end of the year
Reduced labor time in Rüsselsheim and Kaiserslautern

Rüsselsheim, 2012-08-23 -- In an agreement with the Works Council and IG Metall, today Opel announced short work for its Rüsselsheim facilities and Kaiserslautern component plant, starting September 2012. The agreement includes 20 short work days for each of the facilities until the end of 2012.

"The European car market is declining substantially. Until recently, the decreased production schedules could be compensated by applying corridor shifts and accrued overtime," says Holger Kimmes, member of the Opel Management Board and vice president, Opel/Vauxhall Personnel. "Now short work is the right bridging measure."

"The introduction of short work will safeguard jobs," said the head of the Opel Works Council Wolfgang Schäfer-Klug. Thanks to the support of short work payment and an additional allowance from the company, the financial burden for the employees will be limited. The Works Council and IG Metall have worked to ensure that this socially responsible measure can be applied to the Rüsselsheim work force and production area, as well as administration.

Short work applies to manufacturing as well as to the central and administrative functions. In manufacturing, labor time will be reduced by short work shifts or short work days starting in September. In the administrative and service functions, short work days will be applied starting in October. Individual policies will apply in these functions. Engineering is not affected by short work.

There are 13,800 employees working in Opel's Rüsselsheim facilities, with 3,500 employees in manufacturing, 3300 in central and administrative functions and 7,000 in engineering. About 50 percent of the Rüsselsheim employees are affected by short work.

The Kaiserslautern plant has a workforce of 2,500.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man I wish we could get that wagon with the V6 and awd set up here. What a beast that thing is. Hey, it's fun to dream.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please bring this Opel estate over, and please make sure to include the Buick Regal GS Wagon... in all wheel drive to compete with the A4/A6.
      Dark Gnat
      • 2 Years Ago
      GM, bring this over here, and call it a "Crossover Sport" instead of a "Wagon". And don't forget to adverfreakingtize it. The market just needs to be massaged into thinking they are cool again, and wagons will sell. If Chrysler convinced everyone that minivans were cool, then wagons shouldn't be too hard to pull off.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dark Gnat
        Crossover Sport, that's the best idea i've heard. change the name and it will sell, call it anything you want. I want one.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bring the design engineers over HERE to the US. Man I love that car... They do such a great job IMO.
      • 2 Years Ago
      That is a beautiful looking wagon. Buick should really make a Regal wagon. Call it something like Regal Touring or whatever. But it would be a great option to shoppers looking at the Audi A4 and Acura TSX wagon. There are just too few luxury wagon options out there. It would also expand the Regal line so it is not just be a sedan wedged between the Verano and LaCrosse. While at it do a Regal coupe too. That would help give the Regal a more solid footing in the Buick line up. Buyers of the Verano would see the Regal as something other than just a slightly larger more expensive sedan.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like how the majority of the comments are about the Insignia wagon and not the article lol. Hard to deny that car looks gorgeous though.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really think this would make a cool Buick sports wagon. They might not sell a ton of them but it would be a relatively unique product.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unfortunately the Vauxhall/Opel Insignia is the worst depreciating new car in Britain. It is almost exclusively bought as a fleet car, and Vauxhall cannot compete on prestige with Mercedes, BMW and Audi. A new Insignia will be worth little more than a quarter of it's original price after three years. These cars can only be a good buy second hand. Another problem with them is that they are huge, far too big for congested roads and parking spaces. People are buying highter riding SUVs etc., in order to get utility, convenience, better visibility, a smaller foorprint and no worse economy. Maybe the new Adam will work since small cars are still selling, but it is still a Vauxhall/Opel. Sadly Vauxhall/Opel has zero street cred, in Britain at least, and the cars have nothing to offer over the competition. Since Europe has far too much car making capacity it will be interesting to see who is left as the depression continues and economies continue to flatline, at best. There was overcapacity in the good times, now....? And as for Opel: I'm afraid nobody would miss it.
        • 2 Years Ago
        We have that issue with German cars... My dad just sold his 2006 E60 M5 for 37,000 dollars. He paid over right around $100,000 for it and it had about 40,000 miles on it and was ONLY driven 6 months out of the year in nice weather. Cars like the Impala, Taurus and Malibu have the same depreciation issues here as they are rental fleet vehicles and "a dime a dozen". My G8GT on the other hand has really good residual due to the limited supply of them brought in to the U.S. I personally LOVE the Insignia AKA here as the Buick Regal. I'd buy one if it was AWD or RWD. Chris
        • 2 Years Ago
        Hey, I'll buy one of those fast depreciating cars used. It would be a steal. Bring those puppies over here stateside. I'll take two used.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man that is one clean looking wagon especially in black.
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