GERMANY: Porsche CEO accused of ‘breach of trust’

By just-auto.com editorial team | 20 September 2007

In an escalation of the dispute with Porsche over Volkswagen workers' rights to co-manage the company, VW works council chief Bernd Osterloh has criticised Porsche for refusing to meet with him for two months.

According to the German press agency, he claimed it had become clear that Porsche's CEO Wendelin Wiedeking does not want to come to an agreement with the works council and said that was not a good basis for future cooperation.

Osterloh said the fact that Wiedeking has avoided talking to him demonstrates a breach of trust. Clearly concerned that he would be able to do little to stop Porsche reducing the influence of the workforce in the management of Volkswagen, should it increase its shareholding to more than 50% of VW, he said: "I would not want it to be said that I had not tried to do everything to fully represent the interests of the VW workforce as much as possible."

Osterloh said that decisions such as which models would be built where and which plants would be closed could not be made without the interest of workers being represented on the board.

The Porsche and Piech families are setting up a new European holding company, to hold their shares in Porsche and Volkswagen. Of 12 supervisory board members, a maximum of three would represent VW workers. Three would represent the much smaller Porsche workforce.