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Opel workers demand German investment plan from PSA

[RUESSELSHEIM, Germany] German carmaker Opel's works council on Friday demanded "constructive proposals"from parent PSA after German sites were excluded from a sweeping investment plan pending the outcome of further talks with labour representatives.

Earlier this week, managers at PSA, Europe's second-biggest carmaker by sales, sidelined German unions by publishing a production and investment plan for European sites which excluded Germany. IG Metall had rejected PSA's demands for further concessions to become more competitive.

"Following a one-sided decision by PSA about investments in European sites outside of Germany, constructive proposals need to be presented for German sites on the basis of collective bargaining agreements," Opel worker representatives from trade union IG Metall said on Friday.

PSA should honour a collective wage bargaining agreement unconditionally, IG Metall said.

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The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars has repeatedly criticised high production costs at loss-making Opel, which it bought last year from General Motors.

PSA said output of 3-cylinder turbo gasoline engines will be raised by doubling capacity at French sites in Douvrin and Tremery. Production capacity would also be expanded at sites in Poland and Hungary, it said.

Automatic transmissions that to date have been assembled in Japan and China will from next year also be made in Valenciennes, France, and electric engines will be made in Tremery, France, from next year, PSA said earlier this week.

An Opel spokesman on Friday said the company didn't comment on ongoing wage discussions and said there was no plan to abandon collective wage agreements.

"It remains a clear goal of German management to invest in German sites and introduce new models. A precondition for this is creating competitive structures," he said.