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Slowdown signs - Nissan to slash 581 jobs in Barcelona plant

Japanese automaker Nissan has announced a plan to slash 581 jobs at its plant in Barcelona, about one third of the number initially envisaged. Mr Jordi Carmona secretary general of UGT union at Nissan said that "Nissan today presented a labor plan for 581 people."

Nissan, which is 44% owned by France's Renault, had announced in October 2008 that it would cut 1,680 of the 3,850 employees in Barcelona as part of a worldwide restructuring. But in February 2009, it launched negotiations with unions during which the two sides agreed on a plan of voluntary departures, which would reduce the numbers by 1,100.

Nissan said that "Nissan believes the negotiations launched on February 25 are completed. However, these measures are not enough to achieve a factory that is competitive enough to ensure its future. UGT is opposed to the plan, demanding that negotiations remain open. Spain's auto manufacturing sector is the third-biggest in Europe and accounts for just under 10% of the country’s economic output and 15% of exports.

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