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Brazil Volkswagen Workers Strike

November 12, 2001

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SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) _ Workers at Volkswagen AG’s largest Brazilian plant went on strike Monday, protesting the layoffs of 3,000 workers last week.

Union leaders said the plant’s remaining 16,000 workers voted unanimously to approved an indefinite strike at the automaker’s Sao Bernardo de Campo plant some 13 miles (20 kilometers) from Sao Paulo. VW employs about 28,000 people in Brazil.

Luiz Marinho, leader of the ABC Metalworkers Union, said he would try to negotiate directly with Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

``We are trying to negotiated with the president of the company in Brazil, but we’re having trouble. We will then try to talk with the chief’s chief,″ Marinho told reporters.

Marinho said he turned down an offer from Herbert Demel, the chief executive of Volkswagen’s Brazilian subsidiary, that would have let half of the laid off workers to stay on the job.

Volkswagen had no immediate comment on the strike.

The strike at the plant, which mostly produces the popularly priced Gol model, could force a cutback in production by as many as 900 cars a day.

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