NedCar staff vote for strike

18th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

UPDATED 19 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — A large majority of employees at the NedCar car assembly plant voted on Wednesday in favour of taking strike action.

UPDATED 19 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — A large majority of employees at the NedCar car assembly plant voted on Wednesday in favour of taking strike action.

The meeting, organised by the FNV and CNV unions, agreed to a one-day strike on Friday to pressure Mitsubishi, the owner of the factory, to guarantee the jobs of the 3,000 employees.

Talks in recent days between Mitsubishi and the management of plant in Born, Limburg did not result in any firm commitments. The unions warned on Wednesday further strike action will follow if the Japanese firm does not respond positively to Friday's strike.

A fight almost broke out during the union meeting when one person pleaded against taking strike action. Mitsubishi's management warned on Tuesday that a strike will not improve the situation.

Economic Affairs Minister Laurens Jan Brinkhorst said on Tuesday he saw no reason to mediate between Mitsubishi and NedCar.  He said that neither side were looking to the government to go in search of a new partner for NedCar, now that DaimlerChrysler has decided to halt production of the Smart ForFour there.

The cancellation of the Smart order endangers 1,000 jobs at the plant. Unions at NedCar have threatened a strike unless Mitsubishi gives a commitment to continue production of its Colt at Born and finds a replacement for the Smart ForFour.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said last week that the government was willing to talk to Mitsubishi to explain the advantages of assembling cars here, but he emphasised "the government does not build cars".

NedCar, the only large-scale automobile producer in the Netherlands, started in August 1991 as a joint venture between Mitsubishi, Volvo and the Dutch State. It is currently 100 percent owned by Mitsubishi.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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