Workers at Opel’s factory in Spain have announced four days of strikes starting next week after failing to reach an agreement with Magna on job cuts.
Staff at the plant at Figueruelas near Zaragoza will walk out on 28 and 30 October, as well as 3 and 5 November.
Magna, the proposed new owners of Opel, declined to comment. It wants to cut 1,300 of the 7,000 staff at the plant.
Meanwhile, a major hurdle that was seemingly preventing the rescue of Opel seems to have been overcome.
“It is not the intention of the European Commission to block any particular deal, rather it is our intention to ensure that money made available is under conditions acceptable under state aid, internal-market rules,” Jonathan Todd from the European Commission said.
Officials in Brussels had raised concerns about the proposed deal because of the large amount of aid being offered by the German government.
But the commission has been assured that the £4bn government funding was available to any potential bidders – and not just Magna.
The final decision now rests with Opel’s parent company General Motors in the US, but it seems unlikely the European Commission would now go as far as to block the delayed Magna offer from being signed.
Vauxhall – which is the British brand of Opel – has plants in Luton in Bedfordshire and Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.
When GM agreed to sell Opel to Magna last month, there were concerns that Spanish and UK plants may take the brunt of any job cuts following the German government’s pledge to offer 4.5bn euros ($6.7bn; £4.1bn) in exchange for guarantees on German jobs.
Magna has reached provisional agreements with unions in Germany, the UK, Poland, Austria and Belgium.
But it has been unable to do so in Spain, despite several meetings with unions in the last week.
“We want to tell GM and Magna that they have to modify their plan for Figueruelas in accordance with the size and history of the plant,” Jose Juan Arceiz, a leading union member.
Source: BBC News