One-day strike shuts GM Portugal plant


LISBON, May 27 (Reuters) - A one-day strike over pay shut down a General Motor's Opel plant in Portugal on Friday, a factory spokesman said.

Workers' adherence to the stoppage "is enough to shut the plant" at Azambuja, Portugal's second-biggest car factory, spokesman Miguel Tome said.

The 1,200 workers at the site about 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Lisbon builds some 320 Opel Combo light transporters a day.

The strike comes amid stalled pay talks. GM is offering a pay increase equal to inflation, or about 2 percent, while unions are seeking an equal hike for all workers, the plant's director, Paulo Varela, told Jornal de Negocios newspaper.

The Opel spokesman did not give any more details. Previous reports have said the metal workers union is seeking a raise of 75 euros a month, or about 5 percent for the average salary.

Opel also is seeking greater flexibility in labour schedules, such as reducing the work force in line with market cycles.

GM, which has suffered chronic losses in Europe, aims to cut up to 12,000 jobs throughout the continent in order to lower costs.



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