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Germany – Volkswagen agrees to reduce temporary workers and increase pay rate

01 June 2012

Volkswagen plans to reduce the number of temporary staff it uses in Germany by the summer next year by converting up to 3,000 temporary workers on indefinite employment contracts. The firm currently hires 10,000 temporary workers across the country and the firm came to this conclusion in “difficult” negotiations with the trade union IG Metall on Thursday. 

“For those [temporary workers] joining from 1 July 2012, the take-over can occur after 18 instead of 36 months. However, the condition is based on an appropriate order situation,” said Hartmut Meine of the IG Metall. 

IG-Metall has reached an agreement with Volkswagen which will affect around 100,000 workers employed by the company. Salaries will increase by +4.3% for permanent employees while from January 2013 temporary workers will be paid the same amount as permanent employees after nine months of working at the firm. In theory, the wage increase should then also become applicable to the temporary workers. 

“The negotiations were hard and detailed but we handled them discreetly,” commented VW HR manager Martin Rosik. IG Metall has earlier this month negotiated a surcharge for around 240,000 temporary employees in the metal and electrical industry, coming close to equal pay for temporary workers. The union has often been critical over the use of temporary employment and has lobbied for the reduction of temporary staff by increasing the number of permanent employees in organisations. 

Large German firms have recently come under scrutiny by trade unions for allegedly hiring too many temporary workers. BMW, for instance, has been caught up in a legal dispute over supposedly “excessive” use of temporary staff.

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