January 25, 2018 / 10:22 AM / 3 months ago

Opel may curtail investment in Spanish factory in union standoff

MADRID, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Peugeot-owned carmaker Opel is considering cutting further investment in one of its three Spanish plants after failing to reach a deal with unions on wages and working conditions.

The Opel factory, which has been operating in Figueruelas, Aragon since 1982, employs around 5,300 people and was running at 80 percent capacity in 2017 when it made 382,250 vehicles.

“There will only be investment if a plant is profitable, but the Opel plant in Spain is at a disadvantage to other PSA factories in Spain,” an Opel Spain spokeswoman said on Thursday, adding that months of talks with unions aiming to increase the plant’s competitiveness had failed to reach a deal.

Peugeot says that the Figueruelas factory is less competitive than its other two plants in Spain due to higher wages, lower hours and lower flexibility.

Production of the next series of Opel’s Corsa, which has been made in Figueruelas for decades, could be moved to another factory if an accord cannot be reached, the spokeswoman said.

The Aragon regional government said it had called for an urgent meeting with Opel bosses to evaluate the situation. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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