VALENCIA, Venezuela (Nov. 30)—Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana C.A. has suspended operations at its tire plant in Valencia until a dispute involving local labor union leaders can be resolved.
Company management said they expect the shutdown to be brief and have little impact on customers. Management said they suspended operations for safety reasons.
According to local news reports quoting a company statement, a group of people entered the plant Nov. 25 "arbitrarily and illegally" and riots ensued, leaving three people injured.
BFV makes passenger, light truck and medium truck tires at its 50-year-old plant in Valencia, where it employs more than 1,100.
In a prepared statement, the company said it is "committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment" for all its employees. "Unfortunately, the internal dispute between rival leaders of the labor union in Venezuela remains unresolved. This disagreement is related to union leadership issues and is not a dispute between the company and the union."