New Nissan 'pick up' to be produced in Barcelona

The Japanese company has finally chosen to manufacture the new van in a factory in the Catalan capital. The decision comes after workers agreed to a change in their labour conditions including a freeze on salaries until 2014.


January 18, 2011 11:23 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The new Nissan Pick Up will be produced in Barcelona. The Japanese car giant, Nissan, has finally chosen the Catalan city as the place to manufacture this new van. The company will invest up to 80 million euros in the city's factory in the next years, creating 3.200 jobs. Nissan expects to produce 60.000 vans annually over the next ten years.

Nissan's decision to produce the van in Barcelona comes after workers agreed to a change in their labour conditions. Back in early December, the Japanese firm decided to reject Barcelona's candidacy because the unions did not accept the new labour conditions proposed by the company. The proposal included: a freeze on salaries until 2014; the elimination of seniority bonuses; an increase of work hours to raise productivity; and the preference of temporary contracts over permanent positions. The unions found these conditions 'unacceptable'.

However, in a referendum last week, Nissan employees decided to accept a new, but quite similar, set of contingency measures proposed by the company in a last move to win the competition for the production of the Pick Up. 70% of the workers agreed to change the labour settlement, a decision celebrated by the deputy CEO of Nissan in Spain, Frank Torres. He said that the new labour condition proposals were 'very good'. Torres said that as Barcelona's plant now has a 'guaranteed' future', workers and the company should 'work together' to make it competitive.

The decision was also welcomed by the minister for Business and Occupation of the Catalan Government, Xavier Mena. The Catalan politician said that the van's production in Barcelona is 'very positive' for the country's economy. He praised the workers and 'particularly' the unions for their 'responsibility' in accepting the new labour settlement. The minister argued that in times of economic crisis, this compromising attitude is needed from all parties involved and that this agreement stands out as a 'good example'.

In a similar stance, the leader of the UGT union, Josep Maria Àlvarez celebrated Nissan's decisions and lauded the workers 'responsibility' in accepting the changes in their labour conditions. Àlvarez admitted that the process will require 'sacrifices' on the part of employees, but said that the Union recommended its members to accept the new labour settlement due to special circumstances. 'That was not a moment to begin a labour battle, but rather to win the production contract for the van', he said. The other large union within Nissan's employees, CCOO, was initially opposed to the agreement.