2,700 GM Venezuelan Employees Fired by Text Message after Government Takeover
EspañolWorkers at General Motors’ Venezuela plant claim they were fired over text message.
“GM informs you that social benefits will be transferred to employees’ accounts due to the termination of your contracts,” read the text message, which reached nearly 2,700 employees of the General Motors subsidiary in Venezuela, according to two employees.
The message was sent from a US telephone number after Venezuelan authorities seized the plant in Valencia’s industrial center, which caused “irreparable” damage to the company, according to a statement.
“We all received a payment and a text message on Friday,” said one of the laid-off employees, who had worked at the company for nearly two decades.
“Our former bosses told us that the executives left and we were all fired,” another employee said.
The GMV plant was unexpectedly taken over by public authorities, which disrupted normal operations, the company said in a statement, and claim vehicles had been illegally withdrawn from facilities.
The company stated that it will take action against Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro’s administration, which unexpectedly took over the plant.
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Due to government control over currency exchange necessary for importing products, the company was struggling with a lack of raw materials and stagnant local production.
According to a local court, the company was seized for allegedly failing to sell around 10,000 vehicles.
General Motors is now part of the more than 500,000 companies that have closed over the past decade.
Before Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999, there were 800,000 companies in Venezuela. Now, there are only 230,000 left.
Controls over currency exchange, prices, labor laws, expropriations and threats are the main reasons Venezuela’s industrial and business sector are falling to pieces day after day.