Rio de Janeiro, March 31 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will halt production at a plant in Brazil from Wednesday through Monday due to lower demand for cars and high stock levels, a local union and the company said on Tuesday.
The nearly 16,000 workers at the plant in Betim, Minas Gerais, will be on paid leave.
A Fiat representative said it had previously announced paid leave from Friday through Sunday due to the Easter holiday, and had added additional days because of elevated supplies.
The representative declined to comment on stocks at the plant but Union president João Alves de Almeida said it was manufacturing some 2,000 cars per day, down from peaks of 3,400 a few years ago, and had enough cars stocked for 40 sales days.
“This isn’t good news - it creates a climate of apprehension between the workers who are concerned about their future and maintaining their jobs,” Almeida said.
On Monday another union said Volkswagen AG had furloughed 4,200 workers at its second-largest factory in Brazil for three weeks.
Many automakers are working to cut costs in Brazil, where sales and output are down over 20 percent in the first two months of 2015. Jobs in the auto industry have fallen 8 percent in the 12 months through February. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Chris Reese)