Tenneco says strike action by its workforce at the Sint-Truiden plant in Belgium has ended with the factory working normally again following the walkout.

The one-day (29 November) dispute occured despite Tenneco saying it would not add any changes to a planned 20% staff reduction as it works to transfer certain low-volume, manual shock absorber production to other European plants.

It appears however, there were differences of opinion within the three unions at Sint-Truiden as to the initial walkout, with the ABVV labour body attempting to press its case as action was taken by its colleagues.

Last Friday on the day of the strike, ABVV regional secretary, Pierre Vrancken, told just-auto, "militants" were preventing workers from attending the plant.

"The Christian [union] said we are going on strike - we said we would explain," said Vrancken. "Now the three unions are not on the same line. "It is a very old factory, machinery is very old and we have always said there was never money.

"We suspected something was going on and we had discussions to make more profit. Always in Belgium, when you come in negotiations, they say the cost in Belgium is too high."

Tenneco said it was 'surprised and disappointed' at the industrial action, insisting it had "no changes to the intention" to reduce the workforce by 20%.

"The decision to strike comes despite the reassurances the company gave to its trade unions there are no changes to the intention announced on 5 September to reduce the Sint-Truiden workforce by 20% as it works to de-complex the shock absorber manufacturing facility," a statement sent to just-auto noted.

"The company announced its intention to transfer certain low volume, highly manual shock absorber production to other plants in Europe. The transfer would eventually reduce employment in Sint-Truiden by 250 people.

"The company is working with its social partners to minimise the impact of this reduction using all the tools at its disposal. The next meeting is planned for 5 December."

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