Internal restructuring
Vlaams Gewest; Prov. Antwerpen; Arr. Antwerpen
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacture For Transport Equipment
Manufacture Of Motor Vehicles, Trailers And Semi-Trailers
29.1 - Manufacture of motor vehicles

1,400 - 2,200 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
17 April 2007
Employment effect (start)
1 May 2007
Foreseen end date
30 April 2008


In previous fact sheet 9324, we announced the decision of General Motors to cut jobs on one or several Western European production sites. The reason for this decision was to reduce the functioning costs of the industries because of overproduction issues. Two sites were threatened, one in Sweden and one in Germany but the management changed its decision and decided to cut jobs on the Belgian site of Antwerp: 1,400 jobs will be lost before the end of the year and the assembling of the Astra model will be stopped in Antwerp from 2010.The choice of Antwerp, according to Carl-Peter Forster, GM’s CEO, was that Belgium is a small country with high loan costs and GM could not cut staff in Germany or England, the two biggest buyers of Opel. Following the announcement by the management, the workers went on strike. They demanded a guarantee that the site will not be closed in 2010 and that the CEO’s promises concerning the possibility of the production of a new model in Antwerp from 2010 will not be only a vague promise. The trade unions finally obtained a written guarantee that does reassure neither the Flemish nor the Federal governments that, despite big investments in the automobile industry, could not prevent massive collective redundancies in that sector.

At the end of may, a communiqué published by General motors announced the redundancies of 2200 people at GM Belgium from now to april 2008. So 800 more than what was announced previously.

Trade Unions are still hoping for the possibility to assemble a third model in Antwerp and they will put the pressure on the management to maintain employments on the belgian sites.


  • 1 June 2007: L'Echo
  • 18 April 2007: L'Echo
  • 17 April 2007: La Libre Belgique
  • 19 April 2007: La Libre Belgique


Eurofound (2007), OPEL, Internal restructuring in Belgium, factsheet number 65253, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/65253.