* IG Metall calls on Opel to rule out layoffs beyond 2016
* Opel can only defer wage hike until Oct. 31 if no dealagreed
* Parent GM to publish Q3 results on Oct. 31(Adds company comment) By Christiaan Hetzner
FRANKFURT, Oct 12 (Reuters) - German trade union IG Metallwants to agree a labour deal with loss-making European carmakerOpel by Oct. 26, days before U.S. parent General Motorspublishes quarterly results.
IG Metall also said in a letter on Friday to the 20,800 Opelemployees in Germany it wanted the firm, which is looking torestructure its German business, to rule out compulsoryredundancies through 2016 "and beyond" under a possible deal.
Opel, which has repeatedly said it wanted a deal with theunion as soon as possible, said it, IG Metall and relevant workscouncils were in talks "on the strategy for the German plants.As soon as results are achieved, Opel will inform the public".
GM will post third-quarter results on Oct. 31, the last dayon which Opel can defer paying a 4.3 percent industry-wide wagerose to its German workers if it has not yet agreed a new labourdeal with IG Metall.
According to IG Metall, Opel has signalled it was preparedto sign a labour deal that would go past the current horizon ofits mid-term business plan approved late in June, which laststhrough 2016.
Opel had said in June it planned to stop manufacturingvehicles in its factory in Bochum, Germany, when the lifecycleof the Zafira Tourer MPV expired, two years later than the 2015target it had previously planned.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said last month GM neededto sell Opel after dwindling sales and deteriorating pricing GMlost about $16 billion in Europe over the past dozen years.Jonas forecasts another $1 billion in annual operating lossesfor Opel, on average, through 2021.
GM has thrown its weight behind a restructuring of itsloss-making German business as well as an alliance with Frenchpeer PSA , however, rather than opting for a sale orclosure.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)
Keywords: OPEL GM/UNION