Wednesday, April 18, 2007

[olympiaworkers] Employees of American-Owned Car Parts Company Strike in Cadiz

Wednesday April 18

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Workers waving banners and handkerchiefs went on
strike in southern Spain Wednesday to protest plans to shut down an
American-owned car parts factory at a cost of 1,500 jobs.

Unions said workers honored the one-day stoppage in 14 towns in the
coastal Cadiz region over the plan to close the Delphi Corp. plant in
Puerto Real.

Across the region bus service halted, factories were idle and many shops
closed, union officials said.

About 300 people gathered outside the Interior Ministry office in Cadiz
and chanted.

Protesters staged similar demonstrations outside city hall buildings in
other towns. The Spanish union Workers Commissions said a total of 300,000
people took part in the rallies, which were peaceful.

Unions say that the closure of the factory, which produces steering
equipment, suspension gear and bearings, will cause severe hardship for
some 4,000 people who depend on the 1,500 jobs that will be lost at the
money-losing factory.

Delphi announced in March that it would close the plant, blaming high
costs for operating losses of 150 million euros ($196 million) over the
past five years.

Over the past month, employees in the Cadiz region have been striking for
four hours every Tuesday and Thursday, but this was the first coordinated,
general strike.

Delphi employs about 4,000 workers in six plants around Spain. A former
subsidiary of General Motors Corp., Delphi filed for bankruptcy in 2005.

Isidro Jimenez, a member of another union, the General Labor
Confederation, who works at the Delphi plant, said young people in the
Cadiz region are desperate for work.

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