Portugal: 1,200 wildcat at General Motors plant

A mass walkout at the soon-to-close Azambuja plant has entered it’s third day in a dispute over severance terms.

Submitted by Joseph Kay on September 8, 2006

General Motors (GM) announced in July that it would close the Azambuja plant in December in order to shift production to a larger plant in Spain. The initial plan was to close by the end of October, but the decision prompted protests at 18 GM plants across Europe and the threat of legal action by the Portugese government, who have previously provided financial incentives in return for GM remaining until at least 2008.

The Azambuja plant makes the Opel Combo van, GM’s best selling light commercial vehicle. Commenting on the walkout, a GM spokesman said "Production is stalled. This was not foreseen." Workers were meeting Wednesday to decide how to proceed, as management continue to say they are asking for too much severance pay and pension contributions from the world’s largest carmaker.

ADDITIONAL: Reuters has reported that the strike has ended, after General Motors agreed to restart negotiations with unions over the closures.