Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mitsubishi's Dutch car-making unit confirms plans to downsize

Bruce Mutsvairo
Associated Press

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Mitsubishi Motor Corp.'s Dutch car-making unit NedCar is expected to slash "a few hundred jobs" in a reorganization aimed at cutting production costs, a spokeswoman said.
A company statement said Mitsubishi ordered its Dutch operation to downsize to one shift as it closes the assembly line for the four-seat forFour model of DaimlerChrysler AG's Smart car, keeping production only of the Mutsubishi's Colt.
Earlier Monday, workers downed tools to express concern over the plans to discontinue production of the Smart model, and threatened more labor sanctions to come.
"What action would you expect from the employees? We will continue to press ahead with strikes," workers representative Jean Wouters told Dutch Television.
Company spokeswoman Liz Tans said it was uncertain how many workers would be affected by the restructuring, but local media put the figure at about 1,000.
Tans said negotiations would continue, but "it's clear a few hundred people will lose their jobs."
"Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has requested NedCar to draft a restructuring plan for a one-shift operation, based on a current production volume of Mitsubishi Colt, in the context of intended smart forFour exit," said a NedCar statement.

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