GM to buy-back threatened Strasbourg unit

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US auto giant General Motors is expected to buy back General Motors Strasbourg, a GM production unit that is threatened with liquidation, GM Strasbourg management and unions said Friday.

GM Strasbourg two years ago was turned over to Motors Liquidation Company, an entity charged with selling off General Motors assets as a means of reducing the bankrupt auto maker's huge debt.

GM Strasbourg management on Friday said it had called a meeting with the company's workers' committee "to hear its opinion on a project proposed by General Motors Company to acquire the Strasbourg plant and research center."

It added that the workers' committee would convene June 16.

The plan, which would save the jobs of the unit's 1,114 workers, "is the last defence against the total closure of the factory," said Jean-Marc Ruhland of the CFDT trade union, adding that the project was likely to be approved.

"Compared with other potential buyers, who haven't put forward a serious plan or who haven't such solid resources, it's a good idea to be re-integrated into a big group."

He added that while GM foresees no layoffs, "workers will have to give up certain collective social benefits.

GM last month reported a quarterly profit for the first time in three years on the back of a jump in sales and cost-cutting measures.

GM entered a US government-backed bankruptcy reorganisation on June 1, 2009, with liabilities of 172.8 billion dollars.

It emerged from bankruptcy protection on July 10 with 48.4 billion dollars in debt.

© 2010 AFP

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