Back to work after the all-out strike that held up production of around 400 cars earlier this week, the workforce at Palmela’s Autoeuropa factory have to wait until next Thursday before union representatives have a meeting with management, and even then nothing will change before October. In the meantime, newspapers claim the conflict could end up seeing Palmela lose out bigtime.
Explains Correio da Manhã, Volkswagen has already given order to the Seat factory in Martorell (Barcelona) to prepare for taking on production of the new T-Roc – the SUV at the root of all the protests.
If this happens, not only will Palmela become much less ‘productive’ (the T-Roc was described as a project breathing new life into the 27-year-old plant), but 400 new jobs promised as a result of it will be lost.
For now it’s a question of hope.
Former economy minister Pires de Lima was interviewed by SIC during the strike last Wednesday, and said he hoped “good sense and a sense of responsibility” would win the day.
Pires de Lima stressed that there had been “considerable efforts” to “bring the T-Roc to Portugal”, recalling his own contribution to the 2014 decision by Volkswagen to produce the car at Autoeuropa.
Prime minister António Costa is also described as saying that Autoeuropa’s stability is “of the greatest importance” for the growth of the country.
CM suggests the plant “could produce” 240,000 vehicles per year, but last year only saw 85,000 cars from come off production lines.
Workers, nonetheless, say performance issues have been put ahead of their rights and conditions for “too long” – and that management’s demand that they work Saturdays to produce the T-Roc is the final straw (click here).