GM Locks Down Brazilian Plants Plant, Fears Violence Provocations

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
gm locks down brazilian strike plants strike plant fears

GM has shut down all of its eight Brazilian production units near Sao Paulo “to protect the physical integrity of its workers,” the Washington Post says. It appears to be an euphemism that refers to union violence. Reuters has it slightly different and says that production has been shut down “for the day at one of its factories” in order to “not expose workers to possible incitement and provocation.”

Brazilian metalworkers unions had warned of imminent mass dismissals and recently went on strike. GM said it closed down its plants and gave paid leave to its more than 7,000 employees during talks about the continued viability of producing four of its models. GM asked employees to “remain calm and await new instructions.”

The Sao Jose dos Campos metalworkers union says in a statement the shutdown is a “lockout” and that it is “clear mass dismissals could be announced at any moment.”

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  • Victor Victor on Jul 24, 2012

    This is not at all accurate. GM has shut down production only in São José dos Campos, but there are a number of other facilities in which production hasn't been stopped. Some are even in different states, such as the Gravataí plant, that sits in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, about 800 miles away from São Paulo. And the reasons behind this interruption are far more complex than this so-called "fear of union violence". They've been laying off people for a few months now, under a voluntary-retirement program. Also, I'd have to check on that but I'm not sure they have demand right now to use São José dos Campos full capacity. They've been launching nem cars in Brazil but are still playing catch-up to Fiat and VW. Also, it's a mistake to say brazilian unions are violent. Violence is what we saw at the Suzuki factory in India, and things like that do not happen in Brazil, in spite of what the international media likes to say.

  • El scotto El scotto on Jul 24, 2012

    Was the"They're gonna lay us off, so we'll go on strike" media hyperbole?