The Volkswagen works council has said that the mood amongst workers has not improved as a result of this week's letter from Porsche management.

The works council has been in dispute with Porsche management over Volkswagen workers' co-determination rights in the new Porsche Holding SE. Volkswagen workers will have the same representation as Porsche workers, despite the fact that there are over 324,000 Volkswagen workers, compared to less than 12,000 Porsche workers. This will be important if Porsche raises its shareholding in Volkswagen to more than 50%. Under this circumstance the Porsche Holding board would effectively make all major management decisions relating to Volkswagen Group.

The leader of Volkswagen's works council, Bernd Osterloh, has complained that he has tried to discuss the co-determination structure of the new company with Porsche management, but they have refused to talk with him.

Yesterday Osterloh welcomed the letter. "We see this as a damage limitation and an attempt to win back lost trust," said Osterloh. "I would have preferred it, however, if Wiedeking had talked to us a few weeks ago. Then we could have saved ourselves a lengthy campaign," he said.

However, according to dpa-AFX, he is less positive today. "Colleagues read all about what a fantastic company Porsche is, but there wasn't a word about future plans for Volkswagen."

The letter was published in several newspapers and aimed to ease Volkswagen workers' fears for their future. "Porsche stands for guaranteed jobs, guaranteed plants and guaranteed wages," said the letter.

Osterloh said it is good that Wiedeking has finally understood the need to communicate with workers, and called again for changes to the co-determination structure of Porsche Holding. "Whoever doesn't accept changes to this agreement, is proving himself to be against Volkswagen's global workforce, because he seeks to reduce co-management rights."

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