VW locked in tough talks aswarning strikes continue

2nd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 November 2004 , HANOVER - Management at Volkswagen and union leaders were locked in tough wage talks Tuesday as thousands of workers at Europe's largest car maker staged more warning strikes. The two sides in the labour dispute continued a sixth round of negotiations which they had adjourned without agreement after nine hours late Monday. Both management and leaders of the IG Metall union described the talks in Hanover as difficult but said they were still hoping to reach a compromise. "We can see oursel

2 November 2004

HANOVER - Management at Volkswagen and union leaders were locked in tough wage talks Tuesday as thousands of workers at Europe's largest car maker staged more warning strikes.

The two sides in the labour dispute continued a sixth round of negotiations which they had adjourned without agreement after nine hours late Monday.

Both management and leaders of the IG Metall union described the talks in Hanover as difficult but said they were still hoping to reach a compromise.

"We can see ourselves getting closer in some fields but in others we are far apart," IG Metall chief negotiator Hartmut Meine said.

"There's no telling yet when we'll be finished."

Volkswagen's chief negotiator, Josef-Fidelis Senn, described the negotiations as difficult and complicated.

The talks were accompanied by a new round of warning strikes, with 6,000 workers downing tools at Hanover. A stoppage involving thousands of workers was planned at VW's Wolfsburg headquarters.

It follows a series of brief warning strikes Monday by more than 15,000 VW workers at four other plants in western Germany.

The talks in Hanover are seen as crucial if the threat of an all-out stoppage is to be avoided.

Volkswagen, which has just announced a cut in profits for the first nine months of this year, is seeking to reduce its labour costs by EUR two billion, or 30 percent, by 2011 to retain competitiveness.

It wants a two-year wage freeze for the 103,000 VW workers in the company's six western German plants, saying it is the only way it can guarantee jobs.

The union is pressing for job guarantees plus wage rises which it has now scaled back to 2 percent from an original demand of some 4 percent.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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