German trade union demands talks with BenQ

23rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 June 2005, TAIPEI - The head of Taiwan's BenQ, which acquired Siemens' cellphone unit on June 7, has flown to Germany to negotiate takeover terms for Siemens workers with German trade union IG Metall, a Taiwan newspaper said on Thursday.

23 June 2005

TAIPEI - The head of Taiwan's BenQ, which acquired Siemens' cellphone unit on June 7, has flown to Germany to negotiate takeover terms for Siemens workers with German trade union IG Metall, a Taiwan newspaper said on Thursday.

"BenQ Chairman Lee Kun-yao has left for Germany this week because IG Metall asked BenQ to hold new negotiations, otherwise it will not honour previous agreements reached with Siemens," the Economic Daily News said.

IG Metall demands BenQ pay Siemens workers overtime rates if they work more than 35 hours per week, and restore their welfare benefits.

When Siemens was facing losses last year, the trade union agreed that employee would work 40 hours per week without extra pay and were willing to lose some welfare until June 2006, in exchange for guaranteed employment after Siemens sold its handset unit.

"But IG Metall demands new talks with BenQ, saying new negotiation is necessary because the previous pact was reached with Siemens and now the partner has changed," the paper said.

BenQ Manager Huang Wei-kai confirmed Lee is in Germany to visit clients, and denied labour dispute with IG Metall is the main issue on his trip.

"The most urgent thing after the takeover is to get our business started. As for the German workers' fate, we have signed an agreement with Siemens and will honour the agreement," he told Deutsche Presse-Agentur by phone.

Huang said that compared with other issues, the labour dispute is very small. "I don't understand why the paper is exaggerating the issue."

When BenQ took over Siemens' handset unit on June 7, it agreed to continue to employ Siemens handset unit's 6,000 workers, half of them in Germany, until June 2006. After that, BenQ would re-negotiate with the workers regarding their future.

DPA

Subject: German news

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