Bob King, the President of the United Auto Workers Union, is taking on a new role as member of the supervisory board of Adam Opel AG, General Motors’ principal European subsidiary.
King was appointed Wednesday by IG Metall, the German’s metalworkers union, to serve as a representative on Opel AG’s Supervisory Board as a labor representiative – unions typical hold such seats in Germany but bringing onboard an American labor labor is a unique move. King’s appointment is effective June 1, UAW spokeswoman Michele Martin confirmed.
King’s appointment to the supervisory board, which under German law has the authority to hire and fire Opel’s management and challenge its strategy, thrusts him into the middle of complicated negotiations between GM and Opel on one wide and IG Metall on the other.
After losing over $700 million last year, compounding a decade of losses, Opel is readying a turnaround plan expected to call for the closing of one, and possibly two of its assembly plants. One is, in turn, likely to be in Germany.