Wage hike deal ends strike at Ford plant in Brazil


SAO PAULO, Brazil, March 25 (Reuters) - Workers at Ford Motor Co's plant in the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia returned to work on Tuesday after a wage deal at a regional labor court ended a three-day strike over salaries.

Aurino Pedreira do Nascimento Filho, president of the Bahian Metalworkers Union, said the strike at the 4,700-worker Camacari plant had stopped production of between 1,800 and 2,000 of the Fiesta and new EcoSport models.

Ford declined comment on lost output, but said the plant would work for two Saturdays when it is usually closed to catch up on production.

A spokeswoman for the company said the strike had, "no effect" on EcoSport exports. The plant is the only producer of the new sports utility model.

The union and giant U.S. vehicle manufacturer said they had agreed to an 8.1 percent wage rise and small reductions in automatic salary debits for transport and meals. Workers had originally refused to accept the deal.

Workers downed tools on Thursday morning to protest a discrepancy between prevailing local wages compared with those paid by Ford. Pedreira said the average metalworker in Bahia earned about 800 reais ($235) per month, while Ford paid an average of about 550 reais per month, he said.

($1 = 3.4 reais)



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