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GM, Brazilian Auto Union Schedule More Talks over Possible Layoffs

July 26, 2012
GM suspends output at site of 24-hour strike earlier in the month Union claims automaker said no new investment in Sao Jose dos Campos complex Manufacturing complex employs 7,500 in eight plants Nationwide auto sales down 1.2% in first half of year  

General Motors' Brazilian unit and auto union representatives will hold fresh talks on Aug. 4 over possible layoffs at its facility near Sao Paulo, both sides said Thursday.

GM ( IW 500/4) and the MetalWorkers Union in Sao Jose dos Campos told AFP that the two sides agreed in Wednesday's talks not to make any decision regarding the anticipated closure of a struggling production line until then.

A GM official said the Aug. 4 meeting in Sao Jose dos Campos, located some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Sao Paulo, would also be attended by city and labor ministry representatives.

The union said that in Wednesday's meeting, the GM management made clear its intention to shut down the struggling production line which has already stopped producing Zafira, Merica and Corsa models.

GM also said it planned no new investment in Sao Jose dos Campos because of "structural adjustments," according to the union.

On Tuesday, GM suspended output at the Sao Jose dos Campos complex, which comprises eights plants employing 7,500 people, saying it did not want to expose its workers "to possible incitement and provocations at this delicate moment."

The move came after the workers staged a 24-hour strike there on July 17 in protest against the feared layoffs.

Auto workers returned to work Wednesday, officials said.

The union vowed to fight to ensure that GM maintain production of Classic models at the plant and appealed to the federal government to take a firmer stand in support of the auto workers.

"The government cannot just be a mediator. We are faced with restructuring and we will not accept layoffs," said Antonio Ferreira de Barros, the union president.

GM said Brazil's current slower growth has generally put a damper on nationwide auto sales, which fell 1.2% in the first half of 2012, compared to the same period last year.

Copyright  Agence France-Presse, 2012

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