Volkswagen's top labour representative has backed this week's management changes, suggesting that new CEO Herbert Diess may meet less resistance from workers to structural changes than some have forecast.

"We are convinced that, with Diess, we have the right man on board," works council chief Bernd Osterloh said in a letter to employees today.

Diess has a reputation for cost-cutting and - as head of the VW brand - has had some conflict with labour representatives in the past, including Osterloh, in the past. However, he has apparently repaired relations with Osterloh and a labour representative will sit on the VW Group management board - a change with past practice. Gunnar Kilian, a works council colleague of Osterloh, will be appointed to the Group Board of Management for Human Resources.

Osterloh and Diess struck a deal in November 2016 on cost savings and job cuts through natural attrition.

Osterloh said that labour representatives also back Volkswagen's decision to prepare its truck and bus division for 'capital market readiness' by making it a public limited company.

"The works councils of Scania and MAN support this next step because it continues the work done so far," he said.

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