Opel seeking return to 40-hourweek, worker benefit cuts

27th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 August 2004 , RUESSELSHEIM - Carmaker Adam Opel AG stands to become the latest battleground in the German automobile industry over wage and benefits rollbacks, with the company aiming to get workers back to a 40-hour week at no extra pay. The mass-circulation tabloid Bild said the 40-hour week is one item in a list of cost-saving measures outlined in an internal paper which the company management has presented to the workers' council. A company spokesman confirmed the list of cost-savings proposals whic

27 August 2004

RUESSELSHEIM - Carmaker Adam Opel AG stands to become the latest battleground in the German automobile industry over wage and benefits rollbacks, with the company aiming to get workers back to a 40-hour week at no extra pay.

The mass-circulation tabloid Bild said the 40-hour week is one item in a list of cost-saving measures outlined in an internal paper which the company management has presented to the workers' council.

A company spokesman confirmed the list of cost-savings proposals which had been presented to workers on 24 August, but declined to comment on the contents, saying the company and workers would discuss the questions internally.

"This is a catalogue for discussion which does not make any valuation," the spokesman said about the various cost-savings points on the list.

According to a copy of the internal paper obtained by Bild, the list poses a 40-hour week, as against the current 30 to 38-hour week for Opel employees, at no extra pay.

It also said that the list calls for employees at Opel plants in Ruesselsheim, Bochum and Kaisterslautern to receive no wage hikes until 2009.

Further points on the list include cutbacks in Christmas bonuses and other pay benefits related to shift work. In addition, the pace of work at assembly lines is to be stepped up, Bild said.

At Opel's workers' council, officials declined to comment on the list as published by Bild.

Workers' representatives for their part are demanding a job guarantee for the some 32,000 employees in Germany up through the year 2010 as well as promises that Opel will maintain certain production capacity levels at specific individual factories.

The Opel cost-savings proposals pose the latest thrust by a car company seeking wage and benefit concessions from workers in Germany after recent developments at DaimlerChrysler and Volkswagen which have put the firms on a confrontation course with unions.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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