BERLIN (Reuters) – Opel plans on hiring several hundred temporary workers to help deliver its new Astra model, a spokesperson told German paper Wirtschaftswoche on Thursday, in part to compensate for workers off sick with COVID-19 amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

The carmaker, which is owned by Stellantis and operates three plants in Germany, cut 2,100 positions at the firm between January 2020 and 2022 by allowing contracts to run out and not re-hiring.

The temporary workers were now needed at Opel’s main plant in Russelsheim to assist in ramping up production of the new Astra L, the carmaker told Wirtschaftswoche, delivery of which began in January this year.

(Reporting by Victoria Waldersee)