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Germany – BMW wants to cut temp quota

03 September 2012

The German car manufacturer BMW wants to cut the number of agency workers by taking over 3,000 temporary staff on a permanent basis, putting an end to ongoing quarrels between the company and its work council.

BMW has been harshly criticised over its use of agency workers with the work council accusing the carmaker of hiring too many temporary employees. The company was sued this year after it wanted to renew the contracts of over 1,100 temporary staff, a move the work council unsuccessfully tried to undermine.

News reports now suggest that the company wants to put an end to these disputes and cut its temp quota to 8% in the long run. “In a first step 3,000 temporary workers will be hired permanently,” said one council head, Willibald Löw, to the newspaper Automobilwoche.

A quota of 8% would reduce the number of temporary staff by almost half from 12,000 to 6,500, suggested figures by unions indicate. The company is currently working on a new HR programme in order to increase internal labour flexibility.

In August the company won another court case against its work council with a Labour Court in Leipzig ruling that BMW may continue to employ a further 190 temporary workers because their employment was “urgently required.”

New collective agreements signed this year in the metal and electrical industry already determine that temporary workers have to be taken on as permanent staff after 24 months of working at a company.  

The works council does not believe that a reduction in temporary workers will impact the company’s flexibility.  Car makers in Germany have in recent years made increasing usage of temporary employees to cope better with fluctuations in demand and supply.

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