Last month, 2,700 employees at a General Motors plant in Venezuela say they were fired by a text message:
“GM informs you that social benefits will be transferred to employees’ accounts due to the termination of your contracts."
Authorities took over the plant, removing vehicles and causing damage. The plant joins more than 500,000 companies in Venezuela that have been closed since 1999, when Hugo Chávez became president.
GM said they had no choice but to close operations after the seizure:
"[The plant] was unexpectedly taken by the public authorities, preventing normal operations. In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities."
"We don't feel happy. We will only feel happy when our plant starts operation again. We need to be sure our jobs are safe and we are going to start working again. Given the situation in Venezuela these days, it would be really hard to find another job like the one I am doing here at this plant."
Some say the government did GM a favor; car sales have been declining in Venezuela anyway.
- What do you think of GM's communication? Maybe the company had little choice given the situation?
- Generally, what's your view of firing or laying off by text message? What are the benefits and downsides?