Union representatives at Volkswagen have broadly welcomed today’s (16 February) deal that concluded last year’s collective bargaining agreements and should secure 100,000 jobs.

The agreement essentially safeguards jobs at the German manufacturer until 2014, in return for productivity improvements, though these were not specified.

Volkswagen in an earlier statement said only that the annual planning process would see management and employee representatives consulting on how to meet those productivity targets or “performance orientation” as VW human resources chief Horst Neumann put it.

The collective bargaining agreement applies to 100,000 employees at Volkswagen plants in Wolfsburg, Brunswick, Hanover, Salzgitter, Emden and Kassel, the Volkswagen Sachsen plants in Chemnitz, Zwickau and Dresden and at Volkswagen Financial Services in Germany.

“We are lucky to see it is possible to [have an] agreement which secures jobs for more than four years,” an IG Metall spokesman in Germany told just-auto. “Collective bargaining agreements are always compromises,” he added.

“Volkswagen’s interest is to agree with the union and make a deal which on the one hand secures jobs and on the other makes it possible that people do not fear losing their jobs.”

The union appears to have reacted amicably to the deal. IG Metall noted VW was one automaker in “a very stable situation.”

The union was, however, unable to provide further details of the deal brokered today including the innovation fund, intended to evaluate new employment opportunities related to the auto sector.

As well as supporting 100,000 jobs at German plants, the agreement also ring fences the future of 1,400 apprentices at the VW sites. Further apprentice hiring based on performance during training is also safeguarded until 2014.