Bridgestone's Venezuelan plant closes, then re-opens

Nov. 30, 2005

Last weekend, Bridgestone Firestone Venezolana C.A. experienced some "labor issues" that shut its factory down for a few days, according to Dan MacDonald, director of media relations for Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc.

Here is Bridgestone Americas' official statement about the consumer and commercial tire plant:

"We are pleased that the Bridgestone Firestone facility in Valencia, Venezuela, has resumed normal operations and is now producing tires. The plant was shut down beginning at 8 p.m. Friday night due to an internal dispute between rival leaders of the labor union. Unfortunately, the confrontations between those two factions of the union resulted in four injuries.

"The plant began start-up operations on Monday night and tire production resumed on first shift Tuesday, Nov. 29.

"Bridgestone Firestone Venezuela is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all of its teammates and to producing world-class tires for the passenger, light truck and truck/bus markets. This short disruption in tire production should have minimal to no impact on our customers. This dispute is related to union leadership issues and is not a dispute between the company and the union.

"We are hopeful the ministry of labor and other appropriate Venezuelan government agencies can work with the union to achieve a long-term solution to these leadership issues that are in the best interests of all parties. Bridgestone Firestone Venezuela is eager to work in cooperation with these officials to help resolve this matter."