The Schaeffler group has reached an agreement with employee representatives about its planned EUR250m (US$355.5m) cost cutting programme, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

The cuts would include shortened working hours with no pay compensation and voluntary abandonment of contracts, the newspaper said without citing a source.

Bearings maker Schaeffler needs to reduce costs after building up massive debts in its bid to takeover the much larger Continental and has since been hit by falling orders caused by the ongoing economic crisis.