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GM plants across Europe protest Antwerp job cuts

From Associated Press| May 04,2007

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Workers at General Motors Corp. plants across Europe protested Thursday against job cuts at the Opel car factory in Antwerp, European trade unions said.

The European Metalworkers' Federation and a group representing union representatives from GM plants said the automaker’s factories in Europe were taking part in demonstrations, which includes work stoppages.

The Opel plant in Antwerp is on strike until Tuesday to protest plans to lay off 1,400 workers and reduce production under company restructuring plans.

In a note published on the union's blog, the unions said there would be protests at Opel, Powertrain, Vauxhall, and IBC plants in Germany, France, Hungary, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Spain and Russia.

GM's three Polish factories would not take part because of a national holiday, they said.

The Opel plant in Belgium, which employs 5,100 people, is facing a phaseout of production of the Astra model under plans announced by GM last month. The next generation of the Astra will be built at plants in Germany, Sweden, Poland and Britain.

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