GM Succeeds in Pitting European Workers Against One Another (Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
Some see it as the normal gears of capitalism at work, and others call it U.S. style union-busting invasion and a race to the bottom. Whatever you call it, columnist Thomas Fromm of Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung writes that in GM’s world, ‘it is every man for himself.’
For the Sueddeutsche Zeitung Thomas Frommstarts off this way:
All Opel’s management could do was announce the decision. Starting in 2015, the Astra, the car manufacturer’s bread-and-butter, will be built in Britain and Poland — and not at headquarters in Rüsselsheim.
For Opel workers in Germany, this is a dire warning: Your own parent company General Motors has successfully pitted you against your counterparts in Great Britain.
For weeks, executives in Detroit have been debating various locations. In the end, it was from their British colleagues that the company was able to wrest the biggest pay cuts. Ninety four percent of workers there decided to play ball and agreed to the dictates of Detroit. Now they have been rewarded with the Astra, along with millions of dollars in new investment and 700 new jobs. It is a dubious victory.
Not the best workers – but the cheapest – were the ones that won the bid. The GM Group is pursuing internal wage-dumping. … In GM’s world, it is every man for himself.
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