Production standstill at Audi-Brussels
19 November 2007, BRUSSELS - Audi told workers at the Brussels plant the end of the week to stay home because the transport of parts was disrupted by the rail strike in Germany.
19 November 2007
BRUSSELS - Audi told workers at the Brussels plant the end of the week to stay home because the transport of parts was disrupted by the rail strike in Germany.
German train drivers launched a strike on the country's passenger network Thursday, joining freight train drivers who staged walkouts from Wednesday. This turned up the pressure on the national railway in a bitter pay dispute. The train drivers returned to work early on Saturday, ending Germany's biggest rail strike.
The misery is far from over for commuters and companies however with the prospect of further strike action the coming week.
The wage dispute between the GDL train drivers' union and rail operator Deutsche Bahn has dragged on since March. GDL argues that its 34,000 workers are underpaid compared to counterparts elsewhere in Europe.
The strike has been having an enormous impact on companies who rely on rail service from and through Germany. The Brussels Audi plant gets many of its parts from factories in Slovakia and southern Germany.
1,650 blue collar workers at Audi-Brussels were laid-off last week.
FEB: "Some companies found alternative solutions"
According to the Federation of Enterprises in Belgian, some companies anticipated the effects of the strike and turned to alternative forms of transport.
Ford Genk and General Motors Antwerp, for example, have kept their spare part supply lines open by switching to road transport during the German rail strike.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news