Less than a week after General Motors stopped operations in Venezuela when the government seized its only factory in the country, Reuters reports the automaker fired 2,700 of its employees there.
Workers tell the news service they received a message informing them they were no longer employed by the Detroit automaker and were receiving severance pay in their bank accounts.
One unnamed employee told Reuters “we all received a payment and a text message.”
Another said “our former bosses told us the executives left and we were all fired.”
In a statement last week, GM called the Venezuela government’s takeover an “illegal judicial seizure of its assets.”
The Associated Press reports the plant was taken after anti-government protesters clashed with authorities over the country’s economic issues, food shortages and “triple-digit” inflation.
The Detroit automaker reports that not only were normal operations prevented from being carried out, but that vehicles were also taken from the facility.
In addition to the 2,700 employees, GM has 79 dealers that employ another 3,900 people in the country. General Motors Venezolana has been in operation for more than 35 years and is said to represent more than 55 percent of the country’s auto parts industry.
“The company is confident that justice will eventually be served, and looks forward to continue leading the Venezuelan market,” GM said in the statement. “In the meantime, GMV, through its dealers, will continue to provide aftermarket service and parts for its customers.”
GM hadn’t made a car at the plant in Valencia, Venezuela since 2015, and automakers only made 2,849 cars in the country in 2016 altogether, a drastic drop from the 172,218 made in 2007.