Strike hits Opel in Antwerp
Workers demand for eight extra seconds to complete their work on each car.2 July 2008
BELGIUM - Workers at the Opel (General Motors) plant in Antwerp commenced industrial action on Tuesday.
The strike started in two factory units where the doors and the dashboard are produced during the course of the afternoon. Assembly workers joined the strike in the evening.
Unions and management had reached an agreement addressing the work pressure issue last week. Workers would get eight extra seconds to complete their work on every car, but the management then unilaterally reduced this to five seconds.
Union spokesman Luc Van Grinsvin told the VRT that this was a step too far for the workforce. The unions want more staff and a reduction in the production speed target.
By Wednesday morning, the strike had the entire factory in its grip. In talks between management and unions, the management agreed to comply with the deal that was struck earlier.
The unions now hope that the workforce can return to work, but do not want any deductions to be made as a result of the stoppage.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]