Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Monday, 24 August 2009 17:47 UK

Mitsubishi closes Venezuela plant

Mitsubishi dealership in the Venezuelan capital Caracas
Mitsubishi says it could reopen the plant

Mitsubishi Motors has closed its Venezuelan car assembly plant, blaming a number of labour disputes that have led to reduced production levels.

The Japanese firm said the decision came in response to "indiscipline, anarchy and violence".

The facility in the east of the country has seen numerous violent strikes over the past year, including one that resulted in two deaths in January.

Mitsubishi said the plant may reopen if "peace and discipline" return.

Government backdrop

The factory in the eastern city of Barcelona employs about 1,400 people, and is run by MMC Automotriz, a joint venture between Japanese firm Sojitz and a Venezuelan company. It also produces cars for Korea's Hyundai.

The two workers died following clashes between striking workers and police.

Venezuela has experienced increased levels of worker militancy in recent years.

This has come against the backdrop of a number of forced nationalisations of foreign-owned firms by President Hugo Chavez's left-wing government.



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