GM employees rally to save jobs

Original source: Tens of thousands of workers at General Motors Europe's factories demonstrated on Thursday in the battle to save their jobs at Adem Opel AG and other European divisions.

Opel's factory in Ruesselsheim provided the backdrop for the main rally, where thousands of workers fear losing their jobs as GM scrambles to survive the global economic downturn.

Rallies and strikes were also held at Opel factories in Eisenach and Kaiserslautern, as well as at the GM Saab division in Sweden and units in Austria, France, Spain and Hungary.

Opel's works council has called for General Motors to be open to new partners and government support.

Opel employs about 25,000 workers in Germany and builds cars in Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Britain.

GM has announced that it will cut 47,000 jobs or 19 per cent of its workforce globally by the end of the year, with jobs outside the US accounting for 26,000 of the reductions.

The company has sought some £5 billion in support from foreign governments to help its operations outside the US.

But Stockholm has rejected a plea for public funding for Saab, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week.