Saab’s main blue collar union has expressed frustration at the ‘silence’ from the Swedish automaker concerning any new plan for ownership by Chinese investors Youngman and Pang Da.
IF Metall which represents around 1,470 members at the Trollhattan manufacturer is eyeing the next salary date, which will fall due in less than two weeks, but is starting to turn its attention to what could happen should Saab go bankrupt.
“Really, it has been quite silent from them [Saab] – at least they should tell something about the agreement between Pang Da and Youngman,” IF Metall legal adviser Darko Davidovic told just-auto from Stockholm. “I want to say this time it will be critical, but it has been critical every time.
“We have not been confident for six months to be honest. It is always like a hope, a struggle.”
IF Metall’s members are due to be paid on 26 November, but with the State guarantee ending last month, Davidovic estimated around SEK90m (US$13.4m) would need to be found to pay salaries. “This week, it is really, really critical,” said the legal adviser.
Davidovic added he sensed Saab CEO Victor Muller was not as bullish as before, noting: “Every time he was almost always over-optimistic, but now I can really sense the seriousness, it is not the same optimistic guy.”
The union is also starting to turn its attention away directly from Saab and to national and local government agencies should the automaker go bankrupt.
Sweden allows redundant workers up to SEK171,000 split in installments, while further money might come from the government which could see employees receive around 60% of their wages, although this is on condition that alternative employment is sought.
Speculation in Sweden and elsewhere has hinted that the administrator, Guy Lofalk, who is handling Saab’s bankruptcy protection, could make an announcement today (15 November), but he was not immediately available to talk to just-auto from Sweden.
Saab’s Memorandum of Understanding with Youngman and Pang Da is also due to expire today, but the Swedish operation told just-auto this could be extended.