Daimler has said that it wants to talk to unions about potentially reducing working hours at four German Mercedes-Benz assembly plants.

The period under consideration is from the start of next year through the end of April and reports suggest that the German federal labour agency would make up any wage shortfalls.

A Daimler spokesperson told Reuters that the working week at the four plants would fall below the 30 hour threshold set out in its current union agreement but could not say how many employees would be affected since this hinged on talks with the unions.

Reuters reported that at least 47,000 are employed at the four production sites in Sindelfingen, Berlin, Bremen and Duesseldorf where the measure could go into effect.