VW tells workers it can't afford pay hikes

23rd August 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 August 2004 , WOLFSBURG - Volkswagen, Europe's biggest car manufacturer, told workers Monday it could not afford pay increases this year at its six factories in Germany, and would be cutting overtime pay. Rejecting a union demand for a 4 percent rise, Peter Hartz, the company's chief of personnel, said, "There is no room for pay raises." He said the company wanted to set up a more flexible working hours scheme, whereby workers could be idled when there was little to do. He said they would work longer wh

23 August 2004

WOLFSBURG - Volkswagen, Europe's biggest car manufacturer, told workers Monday it could not afford pay increases this year at its six factories in Germany, and would be cutting overtime pay.

Rejecting a union demand for a 4 percent rise, Peter Hartz, the company's chief of personnel, said, "There is no room for pay raises." He said the company wanted to set up a more flexible working hours scheme, whereby workers could be idled when there was little to do.

He said they would work longer when demand for cars was high. Under current rules, workers at the plants have a 35-hour week and Volkswagen pays overtime for hours above that. Hartz said VW was only willing to pay overtime after 40 hours had been worked.

Analysts said Volkswagen faces a tough fight with the main union, IG Metall, over the demands, but may well have its way after the union agreed to massive payroll savings at DaimlerChrysler's German plants.

Hartz is one of Germany's best-known labour figures after chairing a commission of inquiry into labour law that recommended four major reforms. Demonstrators were to take to the streets later Monday in 140 cities to denounce the latest law, code-named Hartz Four.

Leftists say the reform to welfare disadvantages unemployed people.

DPA

Subject: German news

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