Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has decided to stop making tires in Venezuela, according to multiple reports, the latest in a line of companies to pull out of the crisis-stricken South American country. As part of its severance package, employees will reportedly receive 10 tires each.
Employees showed up this week to the company’s plant in the City of Valencia and discovered a letter posted to the door that, according to Bloomberg, said “Goodyear Venezuela has been forced to cease operations.”
An employee confirmed to Bloomberg that more than 1,200 employees were being laid off as a result of the move:
Eduar Bremo, a member of Goodyear’s factory-workers union, said that the company is paying severance packages to its more than 1,200 employees and giving each 10 tires, which are hugely valuable in shortage-wracked Venezuela. According to Bremo, the plant produced some 1,000 tires a day, but a lack of materials and soaring costs forced it to shut its doors.
At first blush, doling out an additional 10 tires on top of legally-mandated severance payments may seem strange, but as Reuters pointed out, they told “enormous value amid chronic shortages” in Venezuela.
Economic conditions in the country have deteriorated in recent years, leading several major companies to close up shop. Ford, for example, began offering buyouts last week to employees at its Venezuela operations, Bloomberg reported.
Goodyear confirmed the closure in a statement to The Hill, and pinned blame for the decision on economic conditions in Venezuela and U.S. sanctions on the country.
“Goodyear-Venezuela has made the difficult decision to stop producing tires,” company told The Hill in a statement. “Our goal had been to maintain its operations, but economic conditions and U.S. sanctions have made this impossible.”