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GM strike to continue until jobs are ‘guaranteed’

General Motors’ workers in Bochum, Germany, halted production for a fifth day to protest the company's plans to slash a fifth of the workforce in Europe.

The work stoppage at the plant will continue today, according to workers gathered outside the factory, who have not worked since Thursday. They are protesting about GM’s decision to cut 12,000 jobs across Europe over the next two years.

About 2,000 employees demonstrated inside and outside the plant where Opel builds about 60 Astra compact cars and Zafira minivans an hour.

“We will continue until we see a written contract which guarantees that every single job will remain,” says Annegret Gaertner, who works on the assembly line at the factory and is a member of IG Metall, the union representing Opel workers. “We will fight for every single job.”

GM, the world's largest carmaker, has lost $3bn (£1.67bn) in the past four years. The company plans to save as much as €500m (£346m) by 2006 and may close one of its nine European plants, says Fritz Henderson, chairman of the European division.

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