Lay-offs at Audi as rail strike bites
16 November 2007
BRUSSELS – The German rail strike has hit production at the Audi car plant in the Brussels municipality of Vorst. Many of the German car manufacturer’s spare parts are transported from factory to factory by rail.
Consequently, the industrial action by German rail workers has meant that Audi Brussels has had to go with out deliveries of spares from factories in Germany and Slovakia. Goods traffic on the German railway network has been paralysed since Wednesday by a 62-hour strike.
The action was extended to affect passenger services for 48 hour from Thursday.
The rail union GDL is demanding a 31% pay rise for its 34,000 workers, saying they are significantly underpaid compared to their counterparts in other leading European countries.
The Brussels plant gets many of its spares from factories in southern Germany and Slovakia.
The strike means that the plant will have to go without deliveries of the spares until Saturday at the earliest.
As result, the management at Audi Brussels has decided to halt production until next Monday.
1,650 blue collar workers at the plant will be laid-off until then.
Meanwhile, both Ford Genk and General Motors Antwerp have kept their spare part supply lines open by switching to road transport for the duration of the strike.
[Copyright Flanders news 2007]
Subject: Belgian news