Thousands of Seat strikers march on Barcelona

9th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 November 2005, BARCELONA — At least 15,000 workers at Spanish carmaker Seat staged a march through Barcelona in protest at plans to cull 1,346 jobs.

10 November 2005

BARCELONA — At least 15,000 workers at Spanish carmaker Seat staged a march through Barcelona in protest at plans to cull 1,346 jobs.

Organisers said there were 16,000 marchers, though police said the figure was more like 15,000.

They marched on the offices of the Generalitat or Catalan regional government to present demands for help in fighting the redunancies.

The Generalitat has in the past given Seat favourable conditions to help ensure their factories stayed in this part of Spain.

After a meeting with Catalan regional prime minister Pasquall Maragall, some strikers pelted the newly-restored government building with eggs, cans and bottles.

It was part of a 24-hour work stoppage by night-shift workers from Seat factories in Barcelona and nearby Martorell.

Seat announced last week it was going to shed jobs at both factories.

Unions have pledged to fight the redundancies.

In April, Seat bosses and unions negotiated a new contract.

But Seat later said it had failed to reach a new deal over how to cut workers and had no choice but to lay people off.

Seat, which is owned by Volkswagen, employs around 16,000 people, most of them at a Barcelona manufacturing plant.

The company reported EUR 145 million profit last year, an increase of nearly 8 percent from the previous year, but said it would make losses in 2005 unless the workforce was cut.

Its problem is competing with other carmakers whose models are produced for lower costs in Eastern Europe.

The issue is a constant problem in Spain, where a number of multi-nationals have closed their plants to move to Eastern Europe or Asia.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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