GM Fires 2,700 Employees by Text Message After Venezuelan Plant Seizure
"We all received a payment and a text message...there is no longer anyone in the country."
Last week, The Drive reported GM's plant in Venezuela had been illegally seized by the local government as part of the South American country's ongoing economic, political, and social crisis. According to a Reuters report on Monday, it looks like General Motors is abandoning Venezuela for a while. Two employees told Reuters that the plant's employees were all fired via a text message to their personal cell phones. Severance pay was deposited in their bank accounts, they said, and their corporate email accounts were all deactivated over the weekend.
"We all received a payment and a text message," one worker told Reuters. "Our former bosses told us the executives left and we were all fired. There is no longer anyone in the country."
The size of the payments were not disclosed, but according to union leaders, they were "too low."
President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro says the seizure is not permanent and is urging GM to come back. Labor Minister Francisco Torrealba added, "To the current General Motors president of Venezuela, Jose Cavaileri: You come here, show your face and share with us the options to restore normality."
Apparently, fleeing and letting all of your employees go via text is not a new tactic in the South American country. U.S.-based cleaning product company Clorox was forced to do the exact same thing when its Venezuelan plant was seized in late 2014.