VW Could Fire Striking Workers at Brazil Plant | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 23.09.2003
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VW Could Fire Striking Workers at Brazil Plant

Bernd Pischetsrieder, the chief executive of Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, has threatened to fire workers at the VW plant in Brazil if they followed a call for strikes by trade unions. "Anyone who goes on strike will be dismissed, Pischetsrieder told reporters in VW’s hometown of Wolfsburg, northern Germany on Monday. VW wants to slash almost a fifth of 25,000 jobs at its Brazil plant on account of continuing weak demand in Latin America. The Brazilian plant, originally set to assemble 740,000 vehicles a year, is currently producing nearer 470,000. Last week, plant workers turned down an offer by VW to reduce its workforce by nearly 4,000 through voluntary layoffs or retraining. Trade unions are also believed to be skeptical of a VW proposal to set up a society, where workers could be temporarily employed at low salaries and provided further training till such time as the economy showed signs of recovery.