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Volkswagen's labour chief says no need for four-day week to save jobs

Volkswagen sees no need for a 4-day week at its plants to secure jobs despite a growing shift to electric cars that are easier to build and require fewer workers, the head of labour relations said

Topics
Volkswagen | lay-offs | Coronavirus

Reuters  |  BERLIN 

Volkswagen
A car with the Volkswagen VW logo badge is seen on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, US | Photo: Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - sees no need for a four-day week at its plants to secure jobs despite a growing shift to electric cars that are easier to build and require fewer workers, the company's head of labour relations was quoted saying on Sunday.

Germany's largest trade union IG Metall on Aug. 15 proposed negotiating for a transition to a four-day week across industry to help secure jobs, against the backdrop of economic fallout from the crisis and structural shifts in the auto sector.

But VW labour chief Bernd Osterloh told Welt am Sonntag newspaper that VW's existing cost-cutting plan, that includes reducing the workforce by up to 7,000 through the early retirement of administrative staff at its Wolfsburg headquarters, was enough to help it overcome the crisis and other issues.

"At the moment we are not talking about less work," Osterloh said. "With the Golf we had the (production) levels of last year in June and July and introduced extra shifts," he added, referring to one of the company's most popular models.

"The four-day week is not an issue for us."

Demands by IG Metall, which represents 2.3 million employees in the metal working and electrical sectors, are potentially significant in Germany because they often set benchmarks for wage negotiations in those industries and beyond.

VW in 2016 set out a cost-reduction programme dubbed Future Pact, but the company has ruled out compulsory layoffs until 2025. Osterloh was quoted as saying in July that VW had no need for deeper cost cuts to counter the effects of COVID-19, which dealt a severe blow to car sales.

 

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by David Holmes)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 06 2020. 12:59 IST
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