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Greed? Nissan Seeks New Round of Salary Cuts at Barcelona Plant

Nissan Seeks New Round of Salary Cuts at Barcelona Plant
Wed, 2012-12-19 14:14
WardsAuto
Jorge Palacios
Nissan’s latest cost-reduction bid offers a replacement program for the Pathfinder and X-83 models in exchange for lower entry-level wages and more working days.

MADRID – Nissan Spain launches another round of talks with its works council in an effort to slash labor costs at its Barcelona plant.

The discussions come despite a deal reached in early 2012 that secured cost reductions from unions in exchange for a commitment from Nissan to build the successor to the Navara pickup at the plant and keep it open until at least 2024.

The new bid by Nissan Spain appears to have taken its labor unions by surprise, which believed employment at the plant was secure following the auto maker’s announcement in May it would invest €100 million ($132 million) there to build an electric version of its NV200 light-commercial vehicle.

In September, the unions rejected a Nissan bid for additional productivity concessions in exchange for a 24,500-unit increase in annual output of the Navara replacement. Production of the new model, which will bow in 2014, initially was scheduled for 60,000 units per year.

Last month, Nissan Spain began negotiations on a plan to cut salaries for new hires 25% and to increase the number of yearly work days to 227 from 225.

In this latest discussion, Nissan offers to award another product program to Barcelona as a replacement for the Nissan Pathfinder and the X-83 van (sold as the Renault Trafic, Opel Vivaro and Nissan Primastar), which will be phased out at the plant in 2014.

Output of the new model would begin at the end of 2013 at a volume of 80,000-100,000 units annually. Investment in the program would total another €100 million, according to Nissan Spain executives.

Union sources say without a replacement for the Pathfinder and X-83, 750 jobs would be in jeopardy.

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