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VW could slash SA production

2007-09-19 14:07
Uitenhage - The component industry and Numsa are deadlocked in a wage dispute which has brought the motor industry in South Africa to a standstill.

Volkswagen of South Africa were forced to send 4 000 employees home last Thursday as a result of the component industry strike.

This has already cost employees millions of rands in wages.

Volkswagen of South Africa were advised on Wednesdat that the dispute between the component industry and Numsa is no closer to resolution.

The two parties remain deadlocked and it is unclear as to when the component industry will return to work.

Once back at work, it could take at least 48 hours before a supply of critical components comes in to the factory in Uitenhage. The strike, already in its second week, is costing VW of SA 500 cars per day.

David Powels, Managing Director Volkswagen of South Africa commented: "The component industry strike is absolutely unacceptable.

"It has brought our plant in Uitenhage to a standstill. We are unable to fulfil critical export orders to countries in the Asia Pacific region.

"The Volkswagen world-wide Group based in Wolfsburg Germany, regards this strike in an extremely serious light and now has serious reservations about Volkswagen of South Africa playing a meaningful role in the Volkswagen Group world-wide supply chain.

Powel said that if VWSA lose its export business contracts, the company can take 36 000 cars out of its annual production plan for 2008 and beyond.

This is approximately one third of VW's total production. This will result in 1 500 job losses. In addition approximately 3500 employees in the service and component industries could lose their jobs.

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