Audi has guaranteed 45,000 jobs at its two German assembly plants, Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, until 2011, in return for more flexible working hours and cost reductions.
Audi’s Board of Management reached an agreement with its General Works Council following several months of talks.
A system of ‘production rotation’ will be set up between the two plants to make it easier to maximise capacity utilisation.
Flexi-shifts in conjunction with open time accounts will be introduced, which will allow for a certain number of Saturday shifts without Audi having to pay overtime. Working hours for employees in non-production positions (around 1,000 people) will gradually be increased from 35 to 37 hours a week.
There is also a new remuneration system, that allows for more variation in wages and salaries according to the type of work being conducted. Audi’s current profit-sharing system will be supplemented by a performance-related component, part of an overall package designed to achieve, “a high level of employee competence and commitment,” according to Dr Horst Neumann, Board Member for Human Resources at Audi AG.