Opel Antwerp fights to the bitter end
The new prosperity of GM has not done anything to alter the decision to close the Antwerp operation. Worse still, GM is doing everything to prevent others from continuing the manufacture of cars. This is the opinion of works council chair and EWC member Rudy Kennes. He does not want to go into rumours that the Astra production line could indeed be sold off.
Although people have now resigned themselves to the closure, works council members and trade union representatives in Antwerp will fight to the end. In this light, the ABVV trade union held a port blockade in November to prevent Corsa’s from being taken away. By doing this the trade union wanted to pressurize for restructuring negotiations. Works council member Kennes said that there were two options. A takeover by a seriously interested car manufacturer or the participation of the Antwerp port company with aid from the Flemish regional government. The employees of Opel Antwerp have recently gained the support of the European Parliament. This prompted Joaquín Almunia, who is responsible for the Competition portfolio in the European Commission, to call for the mounting of an investigation. GM could be impeding free competition with its position. Kennes hoped that Almunia, if he would agree with the request, will in the meantime suspend the closure. However, Opel has just recently sent the employees home and stopped production altogether. print deze pagina