- Brand CEO Dr. Diess: Pact for the future will lay the foundation for boosting competitiveness
- General Works Council Chairman Osterloh: no changes to existing collective bargaining agreements
- HR Board Member Dr. Blessing: workforce is to be made fit for digitalization, new technologies, new tasks
WOLFSBURG, 24-Oct-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — During a works meeting held today at the Wolfsburg plant, the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand, Dr. Herbert Diess, the General Works Council Chairman, Bernd Osterloh, and the Member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, informed the employees about the status of negotiations on the pact for the future. They emphasized that the pact for the future could make the Volkswagen brand more competitive in the long term.
In his speech to about 20,000 employees, Dr. Herbert Diess, the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen brand, said: “The pact for the future will lay the foundation for a significant boost in the competitiveness of the brand.” He added that Volkswagen would be sustainably increasing its productivity, reducing bureaucracy and making e-mobility, digitalization and automated driving core competences of the company.
With respect to employment and the future of the plants, Diess said: “We will need to reduce our workforce, but there will be no redundancies. At the same time, we will be offering a perspective for the future of each plant. This will be a concrete, realistic perspective which can be achieved in view of the tough competition in our industry. We will be slowing down the expansion of conventional technologies and instead investing in future technologies such as E-mobility, digital networking and new mobility services.”
General Works Council Chairman Bernd Osterloh emphasized: “There are to be no redundancies for business reasons and no changes to existing collective bargaining agreements. Nevertheless, if it is a matter of steering Volkswagen to a future which will safeguard our jobs in the long term, we can talk about it. We are sure that our workforce is prepared to master this difficult situation together as it has so often shown in the history of our company. However, this will only apply with a clear perspective for the future of plants, new products and jobs which are secure in the long term. Otherwise, the pact for the future cannot be a success.”
In a talk session following the meeting, Dr. Karlheinz Blessing, Member of the Board of Management responsible for Human Resources, commented: “We are making the Volkswagen brand and its plants fit for the future. However, we will only achieve sustained success if the workforce is fit for the upcoming challenges and is also prepared for change. This is why we are training our employees for new technologies, for digitalization and for tasks in new business areas.” As regards the reduction in the workforce, Blessing added: “Where tasks are no longer required, we will not be filling vacancies. We will use the age structure of the workforce. In addition, we have a very effective tool in the form of partial early retirement. Where future-oriented tasks arise, we will also create new jobs.”
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