A German regional government responsible for the area where Volkswagen is headquartered, said it was “very concerned” as the current bitter dispute between the automaker and two of its suppliers entered its second week. It was finally settled after all-night talks in Germany on Monday night (22 August).
Volkswagen’s damaging disagreement with the suppliers had resulted in a stand-off, which saw tens of thousands of employees facing the prospect of short-time working.
Up to 28,000 Volkswagen staff were affected by suppliers’ apparent reluctance to provide parts in the row which provoked the Braunschweig District Court to issue an injunction ordering deliveries to restart.
“We applied to Volkswagen and the responsibles in the other two companies in the Prevent Group to try [to] get over this problem and start delivering again pretty soon,” a spokeswoman for the Niedersachsen government in whose region Volkswagen sits, told just-auto from Hannover.
“We hope there are constructive communications going on. We don’t want – as we say in Germany – to put sand in the running of the deals. They are really trying to find a solution.
“Some parts of the factories are working short time – it is not officially ‘Kurzarbeit’ – Volkswagen talks about various flexibilisation measures – many people are affected in different parts of the companies – [around] 27,700.
“We are very concerned about what is going on. We have a severe interest there will be an agreement as soon as possible. We are very much concerned for the people working at Volkswagen and we hope that they soon will be able to get back to regular working hours.”
Despite the worry voiced by political bodies, it appeared the Niedersachsen government in Hannover was content to leave it to all parties to resolve the issue themselves, with the added stick brandished by the Braunschweig Court, which insisted suppliers had “not as yet met their obligations.”
Calls from just-auto to Prevent and its daughter companies of ES Automoiblguss and CarTrim did not shed any further light on the situation, while enquiries to the Braunschweig District Court were not immediately returned.
Volkswagen said before the dispute was finally resolved that, although Braunschweig District Court had issued injunctions obliging the suppliers to resume deliveries, the suppliers had “not as yet met their obligations”.
Volkswagen said it was continuing its efforts to reach agreement with the suppliers and implementing what it called “flexibilisation measures extending as far as short-time work”.
The measures affected the following plants:
Emden: Passat production, August 18 – 24, number of employees affected: approx. 7,500.
Wolfsburg: some segments of Golf production, August 22 – 27, number of employees affected: approx. 10,000.
Zwickau: Golf and Passat production, August 22 – 26, number of employees affected: approx. 6,000.
Kassel: some segments of transmission and exhaust systems production, August 25 – 29, number of employees affected: approx. 1,500.
Salzgitter: some segments of engine production, August 24 – 30, number of employees affected: approx. 1,400.
Braunschweig: some segments of chassis components and plastic parts production, August 22 – 29, number of employees affected: approx. 1,300.
Later report: VW supplier dispute finally ends after major disruption