Mercedes cuts employee hours, reduces production

VANCE, Ala. (AP) - Mercedes-Benz is cutting the work week at its auto assembly plant in Vance.

That word comes from news reports citing workers who were told of the shorter work week Wednesday.

Officials with the German automaker said Thursday there would be no comment about the production cutback.

According to reports in The Tuscaloosa News and The Birmingham News, employees were told the Friday shifts would be eliminated due to sluggish sales, but workers could take vacation days to maintain their regular pay and benefits.

In late July, Mercedes previously announced it was reducing production of vehicles made at its plant.

The cutbacks also prompted some of Mercedes's suppliers to reduce their operations.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)