Mitsubishi suspends operations in Venezuela

Posted in Business

CARACAS, Aug 25 (IANS): Mitsubishi Motors Corp., which assembles Mitsubishi, Hyundai and FUSO vehicles in Venezuela, has suspended its operations in the South American nation due to the low productivity of its plant in the eastern city of Barcelona.
"To the very low performance of our operation can be added the high level of absenteeism, lack of discipline, aggressiveness and anarchy that reigns in a group of workers," the company said in a communiqué.
In addition, the firm said that there were supposedly "intentional acts of sabotage and intimidation within a framework of impunity".
It also said that the current output at the plant is not only the lowest in the past five years but also the worst of all automobile assembly plants established in Venezuela.
The firm portrayed the fall in productivity in a chart in which shows that while in 2004 the plant turned out 24 vehicles per worker, in July 2009 that figure was just two vehicles per worker.
The announcement noted that this situation is occurring after the crisis suffered at the beginning of the year, when the murder of two Mitsubishi workers led to the takeover of the installations for more than 120 days.
When that problem was overcome, the plant resumed its activities on April 13 with the commitment of the unions to produce at least 60 vehicles per day, but output had only reached 33 vehicles per day, the announcement said.
The firm has 1,412 workers on its payroll.

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