Workers at the Volkswagen Jetta [Bora] and New Beetle plant in Mexico have asked the company to consider shortening the work week by one day in order to avoid about 2,000 planned layoffs, according to Dow Jones.

“We’re talking to the company today to see if we can change their position. Right now the only thing the company is considering is layoffs,” Jose Luis Rodriguez, head of the 10,000-member Volkswagen union in Mexico, told the news agency.

Dow Jones said the proposal to work four days a week has the overwhelming support of the plant’s workers, close to 90% of whom voted in favour at a packed assembly meeting late last week.

Rodriguez told Dow Jones in a phone interview that he expects Volkswagen to respond to the union’s proposal by Monday afternoon.

Dow Jones noted that VW workers rejected a similar plan last year that would have saved over 1,000 jobs at the plant amid sagging sales.
“Now the dynamics are different,” Rodriguez, reportedly said.

According to Dow Jones, Volkswagen announced a week ago that it would cut production at its Puebla facility by 23% starting in August to adjust for lower-than-expected sales of its models in overseas markets.

More than 80% of the vehicles produced in the central Mexico plant are for export, Dow Jones added.

Dow Jones said automotive parts companies surveyed by industrial chamber Canacintra said they expected to shed about 6,000 jobs as a result of the Volkswagen production cut.

Volkswagen also recently announced that it will halt production later this year of its original Beetle, which is still assembled at the Puebla plant exclusively for the Mexican market, and the elimination of that production line will affect about 350 employees, Dow Jones said.