- Title: POLAND: OPEL WORKERS AT GM PLANT STILL WORKING DESPITE EUROPE-WIDE ACTION.
- Date: 19th October 2004
- Summary: (W4) GLIWICE, POLAND (OCTOBER 19, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. GV/CU/GV: EXTERIOR OPEL FACTORY IN GLIWICE; CLOSE LOGO ON WALL; FACTORY ENTRANCE (3 SHOTS) 0.16 2. GV/MV/CU: WORKERS UNION "SOLIDARITY" ACTIVIST PLACES UNION FLAG; ACTIVISTS HANDING OUT PAMPHLETS TO WORKERS ARRIVING FOR MORNING SHIFT; CLOSE PAMPHLET (8 SHOTS) 1.07 3. MV/PAN: WORKERS ENTERING FACTORY GATE 1.16 4. SOUNDBITE (Polish) SLAWOMIR CIBIERA, WORKERS UNION "SOLIDARNOSC", OPEL FACTORY, SAYING: "This action is an expression of solidarity with workers in Germany. Our goal is to protest against closing of plants, against the job cuts. In Poland we know very well what closing of factories and losing jobs means." 1.35 5. SOUNDBITE (Polish) MAREK ROMANOWSKI, OPEL POLAND WORKERS UNION, SAYING: "We were in a similar situation two years back. We also had to fire part of the crew. We didn't get any support from them. We didn't have anyone, we were practically alone. We had to solve this problem alone." 1.54 6. CU: SIGN EXPRESSING SOLIDARITY WITH GERMAN WORKERS 1.58 7. CU/CU/PAN/GV: SIGN READOMH "PROTEST ACTION" IN WINDOW; PANORAMA FROM OPEL SIGN TO FACTORY GATE; WORKERS ARRIVING FOR MORNING SHIFT (3 SHOTS) 2.14 8. SOUNDBITE (Polish) ADAM MIKRUT, WORKER, SAYING: "Maybe in some years it will be the same, you never know. Everything is going this way, that maybe here we will also have a crisis. We will see, but we're in good spirits." 2.25 9. SOUNDBITE (Polish), WORKER, SAYING: "In the age of globalization we have to work with unions to face global employers, like General Motors. Today they shut down Bohum, tomorrow maybe Gliwice, maybe Antwerp." 2.39 10. SOUNDBITE (Polish), ANDRZEJ ZAJKOWSKI, WORKER, SAYING: "Western production is moving east. You never know what will happen to us, because they can move further east, to Asia and so on." 2.48 11. GV/PAN: PAN FROM LORRY WITH CARS TO FACTORY 2.57 12. LV: STREET OUTSIDE PLANT 3.02 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2004 12:00
- Location: GLIWICE, POLAND
- Country: Poland
- Reuters ID: LVA1HVL8L0JSWYJTRBHKWOYF516B
- Story Text: Workers at Polish GM plant stay on the job despite
Europe wide action, but worry they could be next.
Polish workers at an Opel factory owned by General
Motors reported to work on time on Tuesday (October 19, 2004),
despite calls by a Europe wide auto maker union for
industrial action over the company's plans to cut 12,000
As the morning shift arrived at the crack of dawn, a
Union representative planted a "Solidarinosc" union flag
outside the factory and passed out fliers.
"This action is a expression of solidarity with the
workers in Germany. It's goal is to protest against closing
of plants, against the job cuts. In Poland we know very
well what closing of factories and losing jobs means," said
Slawomir Cibiera, a union member.
But despite the fliers and union t-shirts most workers
acknowledged that job cuts were a growing reality in a
"Maybe in some years it will be the same, you never
know. Everything is going this way, that maybe here we will
also have a crisis someday. We will see, but we're in good
spirits," said worker Adam Mikrut.
Others acknowledged that while job cuts today were sparing
Polish workers, they could not predict if Poland's
might face its own losses as cheaper labour appears
"Western production is moving east. You never know what
will happen to us, because they can move further east, to
Asia and so on," worker Andrzej Zajkowski told Reuters.
Meanwhile the walkout by embittered staff at a
General Motors Corp. plant in Germany has begun to disrupt
output elsewhere in Europe.
GM and union leaders pledged to seek ways to keep
German car plants going into the next decade but
hard-pressed workers at the Adam Opel plant in Bochum kept
assembly lines idle, extending a stoppage that began on
That in turn upset output at an Opel plant in Antwerp,
Belgium, which relies on axles from Bochum to build Astra
GM employs around 63,000 staff at 11 production and
assembly plants in Europe.
GM's German unit Opel is poised to absorb the bulk of
job cuts as the company targets high-cost Germany, home to
the world's best-paid car workers. It has insisted it must
pare back its European workforce to address chronic over
intense price pressure in sluggish car markets.
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