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Victory for 5,000 General Motors strikers in Brazil

3 March, 2015A six-day strike by more than 5,000 workers at General Motors in Brazil has resulted in a union victory, with the car manufacturer dropping plans to lay off 800 staff.

Thousands of strikers from the metalworkers’ union (Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de São José dos Campos) in southeastern Sao Paolo had downed tools in protest at GM’s plans to temporarily furlough and then fire 800 workers.

However, after several rounds of bargaining “GM agreed to cancel the layoffs, which was our main grievance, and we agreed to end our strike,” said union leader, Antonio Ferreira de Barros as the strike finished on 26 February.

Workers agreed to five-month-long paid furloughs for 650 workers beginning on 9 March, after which they would get their jobs back for at least three months, said Barros.

GM originally proposed two-month-long paid furloughs after which the workers would be permanently laid off.

The company will now encourage workers to leave voluntarily in a buyout programme.

The Sao Jose de Campos plant produces GM’s S10 and Trailblazer models. It has reduced its workforce at the plant from 7,500 in 2012 to 5,200 currently.