Opel works councils are calling for the outsourcing of work to be stopped

Opel has been working on short-time work in Rüsselsheim for months and is talking about redundancies. Nevertheless, the works councils still see room for improvement in so-called insourcing.

Stop: The Opel works council is calling for the awarding of contracts to external companies to be stopped

Ghe management and employee representatives at Opel have only just come to an agreement on the continued existence of the parts warehouse when the next point of contention is pending. The general works council of the Rüsselsheim-based car manufacturer has decided on a four-point paper on the so-called insourcing and qualification of employees, as can be seen from a leaflet by the IG Metall representatives in the committee. In it, the committee demands immediate discussions from the management. In principle, the employee representatives are concerned with securing jobs in the companies. “As a precautionary measure”, the general works council advises the employer that outsourcing without the involvement of the employee representatives would be illegal.

The background: Opel plans to cut up to 1,600 jobs through volunteer programs over the next few months. Because from the management’s point of view, not enough employees have accepted one of the offers so far, the management is threatening to lay off for operational reasons, despite protection against such steps until August 2025. The agreement that has just been reached on the parts warehouse provides for 150 of the 300 or so jobs to be retained. The German subsidiary of the Peugeot parent company PSA announced a year ago that it would cut a good 200 jobs in the goods distribution center in southern Hesse.

Short-time work for months

Opel has also had short-time working in Rüsselsheim for months. In the production plant, it will also be months before employees can work at least two shifts again. This should be the case when the factory is scaffolded for the new Astra and a model of the French sister brand DS.

The general works council is now calling on management to negotiate insourcing immediately. This means that activities previously carried out by external companies will in future be carried out by our own employees. With insourcing, the company had justified itself in parting with logistics service providers at its headquarters. At the beginning of the year, the Opel supplier Rhenus SCR in Rüsselsheim came to an end.

Engineering in focus

The management should stop the outsourcing of work immediately in order to keep the loss of work as low as possible. Basically, this is also common at Opel, but there is still room for improvement, according to the workforce. However, it was not possible to find out in which departments the tendency towards outsourcing was particularly pronounced. If Opel only wanted to further qualify employees if they had agreed to a termination agreement, there was no basis whatsoever.

The general works council, which represents all units of Opel GmbH, wants to see a list of all work outsourced to service providers. He also wants to know which activities the company would like to outsource. It is not just about the departments affected by the downsizing. Rather, the works councils focus on engineering, for example.

The agreement on the parts warehouse is not yet conclusively effective, as the FAZ also learned. The reason: the group works council has yet to deal with this issue. This body not only represents the employees of Opel GmbH, but also the employees of units of PSA Germany that do not belong directly to Opel.