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Spanish Opel unions, Magna reach deal on job cuts

Madrid – Unions at the Opel factory in Spain on Thursday reached a preliminary deal with Canadian auto parts maker Magna International on the plant’s future, the government and unions said.

The CCOO union said Magna has agreed to cut a maximum of 900 jobs at the factory in Figueruelas, less than the 1,300 it had sought when the talks began last week.

The unions said that Magna also pledged to maintain the bulk of the production at the plant of Opel’s five-door Corsa, Merival and other models. Unions had feared some of the production would be moved to Germany.

"Magna is committed to maintaining two production lines and with production capacity of 478,000 units per year," the UGT union said.

Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian hailed the deal, saying "the future of the factory is guaranteed for 10 years".

Struggling US giant General Motors last month announced the sale of a majority stake in its European arm Opel to Magna and its partner, Russian state-owned lender Sberbank.

The deal was supposed to be finalised last week but was then criticised by the European Commission owing to a clear preference by Berlin for Magna’s bid over several alternatives.

Sources in Germany said Wednesday the final signing of sale could take place by the weekend if talks with unions and the European Commission bear fruit.

Magna is reportedly planning to cut 10,500 jobs across Europe.

Spanish unions said they are maintaining plans to hold two 48-hour strikes for late October and early November until they can vote on Thursday’s deal.

AFP / Expatica