Bernd Osterloh, head of the works council at Volkswagen, has confirmed that talks have been taking place between the works councils of MAN, Scania and Volkswagen, with a view to smoothing the way for a possible alliance between the three companies.

Efforts are being made to ensure that concerns over the long-term security of production locations and employment levels do not hinder efforts to merge MAN, Scania and Volkswagen’s South American heavy truck division.

According to press reports, Osterloh also tried to put to rest rumours that Volkswagen, which increased its stake in MAN to 29.9% last week, is attempting to remove MAN group CEO, Hakan Samuelsson. A report in the German newspaper Welt on Friday said that Volkswagen was trying to remove Samuelsson with the support of workers’ representatives and help from Germany’s engineering union IG Metall. Piech considers Samuelsson a hindrance to the proposed merger of MAN and Scania.

Volkswagen has also been seeking the support of MAN workers’ representatives on the MAN board to elect Ferdinand Piech, head of the VW supervisory board, as head of the MAN supervisory board.

Piech has met directly with MAN workers representatives, according to Welt. Meanwhile, Bernd Osterloh is reported to have met with the head of MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Jürgen Dorn, although that report was denied by Volkswagen.