Eight hundred more jobs than originally anticipated are to go at General Motors Europe’s plant in Antwerp.


Citing officials, The Associated Press (AP) reported that the plant will now lose about 2,200 jobs as it moves to reduce production.


The report said that management and unions on Thursday assessed the future of the plant, which employs 4,760 people, after weeks of intermittent strikes and the officials said that, because of reduced demand, more jobs will be lost over the coming years.


GME officials could not be reached on Friday for comment.


AP said GM reached an agreement reached with workers’ representatives in Germany on Tuesday under which it would continue to produce 120,000 units per year at Antwerp after production of the next-generation Astra is transferred to other countries. Antwerp currently makes around 225,000 cars a year, the report said.


According to the news agency, union members at Antwerp were told that two midsize Chevrolet models would be made at the factory to replace the Astra while GM said it would review the situation after 2009 and perhaps add a third model or an extra 30,000 to 60,000 cars per year.


Unions now want to focus on bringing the third model to the plant and getting financial compensation for the job cuts, the Associated Press said.


Early in May, GME said it had agreed with unions on an annual volume of up to 120,000 units at Antwerp, with the plant making two new models exclusively for Europe “for the full life-cycle of the new product”.


“Furthermore, GME will review potential opportunities for additional models, assuming the ongoing competitiveness of the plant,” the company said last month.


GME added that the deal was subject to “competitiveness enhancement” including the “determination of a future 3-shift-model, which also is dependent on technical capabilities, financially viable options and the detailed work organisation”.