Volkswagen’s Labor chief is out of four-day week to save jobs

FILE PHOTO: The head of Volkswagen, Council Bern Osterloh, addresses the media after a supervisory board meeting at the Volkswagen plant on November 15, 2019 in Wolfsburg, Germany. REUTERS / Fabian Bimmer

Berlin (Reuters) – Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) Sees no need for a four-day week at its plants to secure jobs that are easier to manufacture and require fewer workers, despite an increasing shift to electric cars, the head of the company said on Sunday said.

On August 15, Germany’s largest trade union IG Metal proposed talks to transition the industry to a four-day week to help secure jobs, against the backdrop of the economic decline from the coronovirus crisis and structural changes in the auto sector .

But VW Labor chief Bern Odeloh told the Welt am SonTag newspaper that VW’s current cost-cutting plan, which included reducing the workforce to 7,000 through the early retirement of administrative staff at its Wolfsburg headquarters, would address the coronovirus crisis It was enough to help. Other matters.

“At the moment we’re not talking about under-work,” Osterlow said. Referring to one of the company’s most popular models, “With the Golf we had production levels in June and July last year and additional innings began.”

“A four-day week is not a problem for us.”

The demands of IG Metall, which represents 2.3 million employees in the metalworking and electrical sectors, are potentially significant in Germany as they often set the benchmark for wage compromise in those industries and beyond.

In 2016, VW established a cost-cutting program called Future Pact, but the company refused mandatory layoffs until 2025. Osterloh was quoted in July as saying that VW had no need for deep cost cuts to counter the effects of COVID-19. Which is a serious blow to car sales.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by David Holmes

Our standard:Thomson Reuters Trust Theory.

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