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IG Metall strikes hurt production

Berlin. Token strikes by IG Metall last week reduced production by carmakers and suppliers in eastern Germany.

Workers put down their tools for several hours as part of a campaign for a 35-hour work week in regions within the former east Germany.

Approximately 80 Corsas and Astras were lost at the Opel Eisenach plant as a result. Strikes also occurred at BMW's components plant in Eisenach. A spokesman said that the loss of 80 working hours was "harmless." At all three Volkswagen plants in Saxony were affected. Approximately 100 Passats and Golfs fewer than scheduled were built at the plant in Mosel.

At VW's plant in Dresden, where the Phaeton luxury model is built, three cars less than usual were built.

Production losses were also reported at the DaimlerChrysler plant in Ludwigsfelde, Brandenburg, but no details of losses were disclosed.

Suppliers were also affected. Work stoppages were reported at GKN Gelenkwellen (propeller shafts); Siemens VDO Automotive; Federal Mogul, Narva Speziallampen (special bulbs) and ZF Getriebe (transmissions).

Management at ThyssenKrupp is preparing for more protests. According to a spokesman the company lost 170 work hours during the first strike. In order to maintain "just-in-time" delivery ThyssenKrupp will pre-produce certain components and spare parts during the next few days.

The union will decide on Monday, May 12 if more strikes are planned. Union representatives and employers will meet again for further negotiations, but they are not expected to reach an agreement.

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