Mon, Aug 06, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Brazil union makes deal with GM to stall job cuts

AFP and Bloomberg, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL

General Motors workers burn tires on Presidente Dutra Road on Thursday in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, to protest against the closure of its MVA assembly facility, where 2,000 workers assembled its Meriva and Zafira models.

Photo: AFP

US carmaker General Motors Co (GM) and union representatives in Brazil reached a deal late on Saturday to delay at least until November 1,840 possible job cuts at a plant in Sao Paulo state, the union said.

“We reached a deal to delay the dismissal of 1,840 workers that was supposed to take place roughly around this date,” a union envoy told media after more than nine hours of talks among union representatives, GM staff and Brazilian government officials.

In addition, the deal calls for suspending until November the contracts of 940 workers on the production line in question who will still receive their pay, the union added.

The line will stay open at least until November with 900 people at work. Talk will continue on the future of the production line beyond November.

GM workers have taken to the streets several times in recent days saying they hoped to stop what they called a plan for massive job cuts at the plant located in Sao Jose dos Campos. The complex has eight plants and a total of 7,500 workers.

The union has said GM made clear its intention to shut down the struggling production line which has already stopped making 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.

Meanwhile, the union estimated that 2,000 layoffs at the GM plant would translate into a total loss of 15,500 jobs across Sao Jose dos Campos.

GM, struggling to turn around its money-losing Opel unit, said second-quarter profit slid 38 percent as losses widened in Europe where the auto market is heading toward its fifth year of sales declines.

Net income declined to US$1.85 billion from US$2.99 billion a year earlier, Detroit-based GM said on Friday in a statement. Excluding dividends and other costs related to preferred stock, profit slipped to US$0.90 a share, down from US$1.54 a year earlier. That beat the US$0.75 average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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