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Report: GM Venezuela Lays Off Employees Via Text After Plant Seizure

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The text message has become a convenient means for quick and dirty communication that is used for everything from setting up plans for the weekend to making appointments at the doctor. Still, there are a few instances where a text in lieu of a phone call or in-person meeting remains inappropriate—let’s say that chief among these examples is being told that you are now out of a job.

Unfortunately for nearly 2,700 individuals formerly employed by General Motors in Venezuela, no such courtesy was extended when a mass text informed them that their severance pay had already been deposited in their bank accounts. This is what two former employees told Autoblog this week in the wake of the government-backed seizure of GM’s Valencia manufacturing plant, coming in the midst of political upheaval and unrest within the country.

“We all received a payment and a text message,” said an unnamed former GM employee of more than a decade.

A second employee who had been with GM for five years added: “Our former bosses told us the executives left and we were all fired. There is no longer anyone in the country.” Neither employee would disclose for Autoblog the amount they received as severance, but union leaders suggested that the payment was not substantial enough.

The move to lay off all its employees in Venezuela is a direct response to what GM sees as the “illegal judicial seizure of its assets.”

Labor Minister Francisco Torrealba on Monday called for General Motors’ president of Venezuela Jose Cavaileri to “come here, show your face, and share with us the options to restore normality.”

Protests against President Nicolás Maduro and Venezuelan ruling party entered their fourth week on Monday with two men killed by gunmen and several others injured; the number of deaths in April stands at 12, reports Reuters.

News Sources: Reuters, Autoblog