FRANKFURT (AP) -- Workers at General Motors Co.'s Opel unit have retracted their offer to sacrifice vacation pay to help the struggling automaker in protest at GM's indecision over the company's fate, an official said Tuesday.
Franco Biagiotti, the workers' council chief at Opel's Bochum plant told the AP that union members were upset over GM's hesitation as well as reports that it may want to keep the company to itself.
Biagiotti said workers at Opel's Ruesselsheim, Kaiserslautern and Eisenach plants had taken back the offer to give up vacation pay -- which could have saved GM millions of dollars.
The Bochum plant was not involved in the offer from the outset, Biagiotti said.
General Motors has been in talks with the German government for almost a year about the future of its Ruesselsheim-based Adam Opel GmbH unit, and GM has recently been reviewing two main bids to take over Opel and its British-based sister brand Vauxhall.
The German government favors an offer from Canadian autoparts maker Magna International Inc. and Russian state-owned bank Sberbank over an offer from Brussels-based investor RHJ International SA, because less jobs are at risk under Magna's offer.
Opel workers also largely backed Magna's plan and voiced intentions to pool funds to buy a stake in an independent company.
However, GM's new board last Friday balked at picking a bidder because it reportedly has fears about GM's global small and midsize car technologies being used by Russian automaker OAO GAZ to update its vehicles and compete with Chevrolet. GAZ has ties to Magna and Sberbank and is likely to benefit from the deal.
GM's chief negotiator John Smith was reportedly set to meet German government officials at the Economy Ministry to discuss the matter later Tuesday afternoon.
Media reports Tuesday widely contradicted one another, quoting people close to the situation on both sides, saying both that GM was interested in finding a way to keep Opel for itself and also that GM didn't have an interest in keeping Opel.
The companies could not be reached for comment, while the government-backed Opel Trust did not immediately return requests for comment.