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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 09:52 GMT
VW Brazil workers accept buyout
Volkswagen workers in Brazil
Workers have accepted the buyout after earlier strikes
Nearly 1,500 workers at Volkswagen's largest factory in Brazil are accepting voluntary buyouts from the German firm.

The deal over job cuts at the Sao Bernando do Campo plant will come into force before the end of the year.

Some 1,496 workers have signed up to the deal and 237 more are set to accept redundancy before 31 January.

The layoffs in Brazil are part of wider cost-cutting plans by VW presented in May, and come a day after news that up to 4,000 VW jobs could go in Brussels.

On Tuesday, VW said it would stop making its Golf model at its plant in Brussels, which employs 5,400 workers.

Stronger currency

When the restructuring plans were announced in May, Brazilian workers went on strike to oppose the planned job losses.

The site, which has about 12,000 workers including 8,000 on the production line, has been deemed unprofitable because of higher labour costs.

The firm's Sao Bernardo do Campo site, also known as Anchieta, will see total cuts of 3,600 workers by the end of 2008, as well as 6,000 at the firm's four other Brazilian factories.

In total, the German firm employs 22,000 people in Brazil.

VW has argued that the rising value of the Brazilian real against the US dollar has made it more expensive to operate in Brazil and harder to export viably abroad.

The real increased in value by 14% in 2005 against the dollar and by a further 7% in the first six months of 2006.

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