TUVE, Sweden, April 29 (UPI) -- Volvo Group Chief Executive Officer Leif Johansson ran into a hostile reception at a Volvo truck plant in Tuve, Sweden, Wednesday.
Disgruntled plant workers heckled and booed the CEO as he stood on a truck to address workers, Swedish news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra reported.
"It was a huge miscalculation," said the union working group chairman Tomas Johansson.
A union representative said CEO Johansson's timing was part of the problem.
"He should have been here seven months ago. Now we've had four rounds of layoff announcements in a row. These times have been torture psychologically," the representative said.
Volvo has announced layoffs of 16,255 workers by the end of 2009. In March, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt commented that the company's plan to increase executive pay was "insulting."
The company, subsequently, withdrew from the pay raises.
Volvo spokesperson Marten Wikforss described Wednesday's confrontational exchange differently.
"Sure, there were some strong feelings and Leif Johansson understands that. But he also thought there was a good discussion."
"And at the end he stuck around and chatted and there were several who said, 'Brave that you at least came here.'"