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GERMANY: IG Metall reps meet to discuss VW pay contract

By just-auto.com editorial team | 11 September 2006

Representatives of the pay commission of the German metalworkers union, IG Metall, are meeting today in Hannover, to discuss whether to negotiate with Volkswagen on changing the current pay contract.

The meeting will not address pay negotiations, rather whether the current pay contract that runs until 2011, can be changed, to allow for the return to a normal 35-hour working week, rather than the current 28.8-hour week. That agreement also guarantees 100,000 jobs in six west German plants.

According to dpa-AFX news, Volkswagen management and IG Metall started to reach some kind of agreement on the restructuring of Volkswagen on Friday last week.

One German newspaper reported that an agreement had been reached to recommend that workers return to a 35-hour week, for no additional pay, in return for job guarantees beyond the current pay contract.

This cannot be confirmed and other local press reports suggest that Audi cars will be assembled in Wolfsburg, and separately that new working models will be adopted in German plants, with a performance element to pay contracts.

Volkswagen executives said earlier this year that they need to reduce the number of jobs at Volkswagen's west German plants by 20,000.