Nissan workers in Sunderland have been sent home and will not return to work for six days after production was suspended because of the economic downturn.
The car giant sent 3,500 production staff home on full pay on Tuesday. Many were given home leave, but some will attend training sessions.
The Nissan factory, which is the most productive car plant in Europe, makes the Qashqai and Notes model, but the economic downturn has led to a fall in demand and a slump in sales.
A spokeswoman said: "The economic crisis continues to significantly affect all car makers globally, and it is essential that Sunderland continues taking the right action now to protect the future of the company by matching volume to softening customer demand.
"Business conditions remain highly volatile and Sunderland will continue to take any appropriate action if and when needed."
Staff are expected to return to normal working weeks in the New year.
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