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October 20, 2016

VW recovery labour talks still ongoing – reports

Volkswagen's works council has not yet struck an agreement with management on cost cuts and strategy for the main autos division, contrary to earlier media reports.

Volkswagen's works council has not yet struck an agreement with management on cost cuts and strategy for the main autos division, contrary to earlier media reports.

"A collapse of the future pact continues to be possible because we are still lacking essential commitments from the company," works council chiefs said in a letter distributed to German staff on Thursday and cited by the Reuters news agency.

Labour wants management to agree to fixed targets and quotas for products, output and investment as the two sides haggle over a recovery plan for the core VW brand hit by the diesel emissions-cheat scandal.

Talks were to resume on Thursday (20 October) after workers were briefed at a meeting in Wolfsburg.

Manager Magazin had reported earlier a deal had been agreed but works council leader Gunnar Kilian told Reuters on Wednesday: "Constructive talks are still ongoing and will be continued tomorrow. The fact is: the pact may still fail. Especially if the company does not make concrete assurances for certain products, such as battery manufacturing."

His comments were echoed by works council chief Bernd Osterloh in an interview with Braunschweiger Zeitung published earlier on Wednesday

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Manager Magazin had earlier said on its website VW had agreed with labour leaders on cutting costs by between EUR5bn and EUR6bn by 2025 at the latest. Natural attrition would allow between 10,000 and 20,000 staff to be cut over the next decade, the magazine had said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the talks.

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