Workers Block Opel Car Factory in Belgium

Workers fear that GM will close plant

In northern Belgium workers at an Opel plant blocked access to the installation on Jan. 20 ahead of a meeting in which unions fear that the factory's closure will be announced.

"We are blocking all the cars that are ready to leave until we know what they are intending to do," Walter Cnop, from Christian trade union CSC, said, adding that car production would be allowed to continue.

The blockade could last until Jan. 21, when the local management for parent company General Motors has convened an emergency meeting.

"We are sure they will announce a plan to close" the factory, Cnop said.

GM has said it will be forced to cut 8,300 jobs out of a total of more than 50,000 employees across Europe. The Belgian Opel factory in Antwerp has around 2,300 workers and is considered the most likely to be shut down.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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