Saab blue collar union IF Metall has succeeded in its application to have a supervisory committee appointed to oversee Saab’s transition from bankruptcy protection ahead of proposed Chinese investment.
The union applied to the Vanersborg District Court – near Saab’s Trollhattan factory in Western Sweden – for the committee to be formed following several successive months of late salary payments to its members and as prospective Chinese ownership of the manufacturer takes shape.
“Mostly it [meetings] will depend on what is happening – as long as nothing [is] happening we don’t have any reason,” IF Metall legal adviser Darko Davidovic told just-auto from Sweden.
“We will talk to [Saab administrator] Guy Lofalk and have a first meeting how we will work with this committee.”
The committee has been deliberately pared back to a minimum of members for clarity and as well as one IF Metall member, will also consist of a representative from white collar labour body Unionen, a Swedish tax authority delegate and three Saab suppliers.
Next week also heralds a crucial period for Saab as Wednesday (9 November) is the date by which a first tranche of money from Chinese investors Youngman and Pang Da is due.
The Chinese partners – theoretically taking over Saab 100% in a 60:40 split respectively – have promised EUR50m (US$69m) while the automaker is in reorganisation but near silence from former owner General Motors on its position could see this paid in instalments.
“Wednesday is very important because if that money does not come in, we are back,” said Davidovic. “We have heard they will probably make the payments in proportions…they don’t know if GM will approve it so so they don’t want to pay everything at once.”
GM confined itself to noting in a statement emailed to just-auto this week: “Like other suppliers to Saab, we do not have any information about the proposed transaction,” it said. “Therefore, it’s impossible for us to comment on the situation.”
Neither Youngman nor Pang Da were immediately available for comment.