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VW Workers Protest Layoffs

April 29, 1999

HANOVER, Germany (AP) _ More than 10,000 employees at a Volkswagen plant walked off their jobs to protest the automaker’s plans to lay off 550 workers on short-term contracts, union officials said Thursday.

Assembly lines at the plant in Emden, northern Germany, have been idle since noon Wednesday and will remain shut on Friday, said Regina Allemann, plant representative for the powerful IG Metall union.

IG Metall officials said they were incensed that VW refused to renew the short-term contracts while asking regular employees at Emden to work overtime.

Union officials were to discuss Friday whether to extend the walkouts to VW’s five other German plants.

Volkswagen this week reported a 2.9-percent rise in first-quarter net earnings, well below analysts’ expectations.

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