GM's Antwerp Workers Strike

Caused by production reduction

Workers at General Motor's Opel site in Antwerp decided on April 26 to down tools for a week to protest job cuts at the site, a unions official said. The workers decided to strike after learning that General Motors intended to produce only 80,000 units per year at the northern Belgian plant from 2010 with production of Opel's compact Astra model to be shifted elsewhere.

"80,000, that's four or five months of work and then it's over," said Gino Cabras with the FGTB union, stressing that the plant currently produces 200,000 cars per year

"The factory's workers and administrative staff voted to go on strike until next Thursday" when GM Europe's management is due to meet at its headquarters in Germany, he added.

General Motors announced plans earlier this month to axe 1,400 jobs at its factory in Antwerp, as part of a shake-up of production for the next generation of the group's Astra model from 2010.

GM Europe currently employs 4,500 people at the site.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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