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Audi schedules six days of reduced work hours in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
• Around 25,000 employees affected
• Adjustments in production also help to secure jobs
Audi has decided to institute a phase of reduced work hours for six days between February 20 and 27 at its Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants. The arrangement affects some 25,000 employees. Divisions that are not directly associated with the production of automobiles are exempted from the reduced work hours.
Despite the fact that Audi concluded 2008 with the sale of one million cars and a new sales record, the company will not be able to permanently elude the negative impact of the current financial crisis. “The overall demand in some major markets has dropped so drastically, especially in the last few weeks, that we’ve been forced to act,” said Dr. Werner Widuckel, Member of the Board of Management for Human Resources at AUDI AG. “This is our way of reacting to the downward trend in demand on worldwide car markets.” The company is utilizing every possible instrument in its personnel policy arsenal. Personnel and production turntables between the plants have long been successfully used to utilize the capacity at the two locations as evenly as possible. “By reducing work hours we’re securing the jobs of employees and can be confident of having good prospects for the future,” Widuckel emphasized. He added that the company is holding to its long-term targets for growth and is continuing its model initiative as planned.
“Preparations are therefore continuing at full speed for the start of production of the six new models due for launch this year,” said Frank Dreves, Member of the Board of Management for Production at AUDI AG.
Company management and the works council agree that the future of Audi’s permanent staff is secure. This is also confirmed in the Zukunft Audi (Future of Audi) agreement that rules out layoffs due to operational conditions until 2011.
“The works councils in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm will be able to agree to the company’s proposal for reduced work hours,” said Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG. He also emphasized that the reduction in work hours serves to secure jobs. “In the agreement on reduced hours compensation allowance, we agreed with the Board of Management on a gross increase in the reduced hours compensation. Through this, remuneration should for the most part be equalized.”
Norbert Rank, Chairman of the Audi Works Council in Neckarsulm, added: “To avoid burdening the time accounts of our workers any further, the works council is supporting the recommendation of the company management for reduced work hours. We expect the management to step up its efforts to secure jobs at our locations.”
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