Saab jobs at risk

Up to 1,400 jobs are at risk at the Saab car plant in Trollhättan, western Sweden, despite the news earlier this week that the factory would build parent company General Motors' new Astra model.

The head of the European Metalworkers’ Federation, Peter Scherrer, has said that GM would slash 4,500 jobs in Europe by 2010, according to Dagens Industri.

The announcement on Tuesday that Trollhättan would be one of four plants to build the new Astra after 2010 led to celebrations at the west-Swedish factory, at which most of Saab’s 4,000 workers are based.

Now Paul Åkerlund, local chairman of Swedish union IF Metall, admits that big cutbacks are expected.

“It’s clear that there won’t be any new jobs in the future. We will produce the same number of cars as today after 2010, but with fewer workers,” he said.

Åkerlund said it was unfortunate that Scheller had put a figure on the number of jobs GM wants to cut.

Saab spokesman Christer Nilsson said EMF’s figures were “theoretical”.