No cars and engines are being produced on Thursday in any of Volkswagen’s four Brazilian plants.

Without engines to produce the Fox, Crossfox and Golf, Volkswagen do Brasil has decided to order all 4,500 workers at its São José dos Pinhais plant, in Paraná state, to take two days of compulsory holiday.

The drastic step came after workers at the three VW factories in São Paulo state downed tools on Wednesday.

One of these plants, at São Carlos, supplies engines for all VW models assembled in Brazil.

Unions have called the strike is to pressure Volkswagen into increasing workers’ profit shares.

On Wednesday night, the automaker met trade union delegates from the São Paulo state plant to negotiate an end to the strike, but failed to reach agreement.

Another meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

The strike started a week ago in the São Bernardo do Campo vehicles plant, in São Paulo state, where 12,400 employees decided to down tools in support of their claim for a larger share of the profits.

On Tuesday, about 6,000 workers at the São Carlos engine and Taubaté vehicles plants, both also in São Paulo state, joined the strike.

Volkswagen has ‘lost’ 7,500 cars and 4,500 engines since the strikes began and says shipments of cars to local dealers and export markets are already in jeopardy.

São Paulo state plant workers are demanding $R5,500 ($US2,340) profit share for every employee, but VW has offered $R4,700 (about $US2,000) each subject to production targets being reached this year.

While workers at the three factories in São Paulo state are continuing to argue with Volkswagen, employees at the São José dos Pinhais plant have already agreed to be compensated for the two days of compulsory holiday by working a Saturday in November.

The strikes have not affected the VW truck and bus plant in Rio de Janeiro state, which is part of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Rogério Louro

VW workers strike