Brazil auto workers threaten strike at GM plant

Updated 25 January 2013
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Brazil auto workers threaten strike at GM plant

SAO PAULO: Brazilian auto workers yesterday voted to begin an indefinite strike next week if upcoming talks with General Motors fail to produce a deal to avert 1,600 planned job cuts, their union said.
The two sides agreed in talks Wednesday to resume negotiations Saturday.
Last August, the US carmaker and the Metalworkers' Union reached a deal to delay the layoffs at the struggling GM production line in Sao Jose dos Campos, near Sao Paulo, until Jan. 26 — now just two days away.
"If there is no deal with GM, the company and also (Brazilian) President Dilma (Rousseff) will bear responsibility for the layoffs," union President Antonio Ferreira de Barros said.
A GM spokesman said the company would not comment on the strike threat at the facility, which has eight plants and employs 7,500 workers.
"GM is not in crisis," the union leader added. The "president cannot just watch this serious situation and not act.
"We are going to insist that the federal government take a stand in support of the workers and that the layoffs be banned."
The union pointed out that GM is benefiting from government tax incentives.
In Wednesday's meeting, the union said that it made new proposals to resolve the issue and said that, for the first time, GM agreed to reconsider the job cuts.
"We want investments in the plant, and the deal we are proposing would make that possible," said union Secretary General Luiz Carlos Prates.
Last week, Luiz Moan, GM's head of institutional relations said the company was seeking "greater competitiveness" and believed a deal could be reached if the union "presents concrete measures" showing more flexibility.
The union has estimated that the layoffs would translate into a total loss of around 15,000 jobs in Sao Jose dos Campos, an industrial city home to more than 600,000 people.


Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

  • He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.”

DETROIT: China is engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny” of intellectual property, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a business audience Monday.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Detroit Economic Club as global markets reacted to trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations started putting trade tariffs in motion that are set to take effect July 6.
He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.” He added that China is a “predatory economic government” that is “long overdue in being tackled,” matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
“Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented level of larceny.”
“Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?” he said later. “This is predatory economics 101.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
“I reminded him that’s not fair competition,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, said last week that a “tariff battle” could result in price inflation and consumer debt — “historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as “economic diplomacy,” which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
“We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy,” he said. “We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well.”