Business, Economics and Jobs

GM suspends production at Brazil plant because of strike


An Indian laborer works in the assembly line at the General Motors India manufacturing plant in Halol, about 100 miles from Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, on September 22, 2010.



SÃO PAULO, Brazil — General Motors suspended production for the day at one of its factories in Brazil, where workers had held a 24-hour strike to protest the possible cut of 2,000 jobs.

The union said third-shift workers were asked to leave the factory floor before the end of their shift, and first-shift workers were told of the suspension upon arrival, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

According to Agence France-Presse, workers were sent home with paid leave ahead of more tense talks between union and government representatives. The workers at the São José dos Campos plant — which makes pickup trucks, engines, and Corsa and Meriva cars — held their strike on July 17 in protest of GM's alleged plans to cut up to 2,000 jobs because of difficulties being faced by a production line making older vehicle models. GM released a statement saying a new round of negotiations with the Metalworkers Union and the government was scheduled for tomorrow, and that workers should stay home and "await new instructions."

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The Metalworkers Union also released a statement, calling today's production suspension "undemocratic" and saying it violated Brazilian laws that prohibit employers from locking out their employees, reported Reuters.

"This behavior only increases the insecurity for workers and makes clear the manufacturer's intention of a mass layoff," the union statement said.

AFP also reported that GM insisted last week that it had made no decision about layoffs or shutting down the São José dos Campos plant's production.