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Germany – BMW solves temp dispute

28 September 2012

After several public disputes and legal proceedings over BMW’s use of agency workers, the automobile manufacturer has now confirmed that 3,000 of its temporary staff will be taken on as permanent staff.

The union IG Metall has welcomed the agreement, after announcing the news on Thursday.

The works council, which had earlier this year sued the company over its “extensive” use of temporary workers, signed an agreement with BMW’s management this week to settle the matter.

The agreement applies to all six German plants, following the eruption of a legal dispute over the company’s Leipzig branch. There, BMW wanted to renew the employment contracts of over 1,100 agency workers at the start of the year. This was opposed by the works council which subsequently filed a lawsuit against the firm. In Leipzig alone, BMW will now take on 700 permanent hires, primarily agency workers. 

The union still wants more and said that BMW should not use more than 8% of temporary workers in the future. One union representative, Jürgen Wechsler, said that “IG Metall wants BMW to return to normality. This means as little agency work as possible and as much permanent hires as possible.”

He claimed that the automobile giant had used over 11,000 agency workers this year. 

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