SAO PAULO – The Brazilian subsidiary of General Motors resumed operations Wednesday at its manufacturing complex in Sao Jose dos Campos, ending a lockout imposed the previous day amid an ongoing dispute with unions over the possible elimination of 1,500 jobs.
After earlier saying that the shutdown would continue pending an agreement with the unions, GM Brasil management allowed the 7,500 employees at Sao Jose dos Campos to return to work as the negotiations continue.
GM reopened the eight plants at the complex after the Brazilian government announced plans to mediate between the company and workers.
Negotiators were due to resume talks on Wednesday.
“In that meeting we will demand that GM abort any plan for mass layoffs and that the government intervene immediately to guarantee the jobs,” the head of the Sao Jose dos Campos Steelworkers Union, Antonio Ferreira de Barros, told the press.
GM says it has to yet to decide on shutting down the passenger-car assembly line at Sao Jose dos Campos, a city about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Sao Paulo.
The company justified the brief lockout by pointing to “strong evidence – in recent hours and days – of internal mobilization at the plant.”
“The goal of the decision is to protect the physical integrity of the employees while discussions continue with the union representatives in relation to the viability of one of the plants at the complex,” GM Brasil said Tuesday.
Brazil has the world’s fifth-biggest auto industry. EFE