Saab’s largest blue-collar union says it will have no choice but to file for the automaker’s bankruptcy next Monday (28 November), unless its members receive their November pay.
IF Metall – along with several other of Saab’s unions – has endured successive months of late wages payments – while the Swedish state salary guarantee ended in October after three months of cash injection.
However, it now appears money due from Chinese investors Youngman and Pang Da for November wages has not been forthcoming, leading IF Metall to make its view extremely plain, with its members due to be paid this Friday.
“If there is no money, I have to say we don’t have another possibility than to make this claim and file for bankruptcy,” IF Metall legal adviser Darko Davidovic told just-auto from Sweden.
“A couple of days ago, Pang Da and Youngman said they would pay the salaries. Now we can see they did not do as they [said]. Now it is worse than ever. The first step if we will do something, which we will, is on Monday. It is not possible for us to have this story every time.”
Davidovic was obliged to break off talking to just-auto to take a call from Saab while a reliable source in China preferred to concentrate on the talks taking place with former owner General Motors which has baulked at the idea of continuing to license its technology used in Saab cars, or supply the 9-4X SUV on an OEM basis from a plant in Mexico, should Youngman and Pang Da take 100% control.
“Currently all the people are focused on GM issues,” the source told just-auto. “They are discussing with GM.”
European automotive supplier body CLEPA CEO Lars Holmqvist told just-auto at the sidelines of an aftermarket conference in Brussels he was due to receive a call from Saab chief Victor Muller today (24 November) to update the organisation on rescue talks.
CLEPA members are owed EUR150m (US$200m), but Holmqvist said the actual figure could be far higher. “If you really have to write it off [debt], it is much, much bigger,” he said.