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Germany – BMW signs deal to solve “temp problem”

19 July 2012

BMW seems to have found a solution to its “temp problem” after unions and work councils massively criticised the firm’s HR policy which has heavily relied on temporary staffing. Following lengthy negotiations between employee organisations and the management, it emerged today that BMW has concrete plans to hire 3,000 contingent workers on a permanent basis.

Earlier this month the German carmaker said it wants to halve the number of its temporary workers, announcing thousands of employees may be offered permanent posts. The metal and electronic union IG Metall confirmed that the new deal was ready to be signed, which will oblige BMW to take over 3,000 new workers, mainly temporaries, by the end of 2013. The union claims that this will drastically cut the number of agency personnel from up to 20% down to 13%.

Horst Lischka of the IG Metall said this was “the first step in the right direction” but he is still demanding BMW to hire more workers permanently.

The automobile giant has been widely criticised for its “excessive” temp policy, landing the firm in court earlier this year. BMW was sued after union representatives had refused to renew 1,100 temporary contracts, claiming that this practice created a two-tier system of employees. However, the Labour Court has so far ruled in favour of the company.

The automobile sector is said to be the largest client for temporary staffing firms in Germany with the IG Metall reporting 300,000 temporary workers being active in the metal and electronic industry.  

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