Nissan suspends plan to cut 1,680 jobs in Spain
Instead the Japanese car marker will implement a work reduction plan for 3,300 employees in Barcelona.BARCELONA – Japanese automaker Nissan said Friday it has suspended a plan to cut 1,680 jobs at a Spanish plant and will instead implement a temporary work reduction programme.
It said the company reached a deal with unions to immediately implement a "temporary labour force adjustment" plan until 31 March which will affect 3,300 employees at its factory in the northeastern city of Barcelona.
It emphasised in a statement that "this temporary measure is not intended in any way to replace Nissan's aim of changing its structure to ensure its competitiveness at the factory (in Barcelona) in 2010."
Nissan had planned to cut 1,288 jobs in 2008 and a further 392 next year in Barcelona.
In announcing the plan in October, the company blamed "the global economic crisis that has caused a dramatic decline in industrial output".
Nissan said Friday that negotiations would take place between unions and management during the period of the work reduction plan.
A spokesman for the Workers Committees union, Agustin Perez, said unions would present "an industrial plan offering voluntary departures and early retirements for the maximum number of employees" to avoid forced layoffs, "as we are aware that the company will continue to seek staff cuts."
Nissan, in which France's Renault holds a controlling stake, is Japan's third-largest automaker and currently employs 6,100 people in Spain.
Spain's auto manufacturing sector in the third biggest in Europe and accounts for just under 10 percent of the country's economic output and 15 percent of exports.
It has been badly hit by the economic slowdown and many automakers in the country have announced staff cutbacks.
Sales of new cars plunged 49.6 percent in November and Spain is now on the brink of recession after its economy shrank 0.2 percent in the third quarter.
[AFP / Expatica]