BERLIN Feb 8 Volkswagen's works
council has accused top executives of breaching a cost-cutting
deal, risking fresh turmoil at the German carmaker as it
struggles to overcome its emissions scandal.
In a letter to VW brand chief Herbert Diess, seen by
Reuters, the labour leaders said he and personnel boss Karlheinz
Blessing had breached the terms of November's "future pact" by
ruling out possible hirings in the first half of 2017 and
cutting temporary jobs more quickly and deeply than agreed.
"The management board with its actions is undermining the
terms of the future pact," the labour leaders said in the letter
delivered to Diess on Tuesday.
VW is under pressure to make cuts at high-cost operations in
Germany to fund a shift to electric cars and mobility services
in the wake of its emissions scandal, while still grappling with
billions of euros in costs related to that scandal.
Managers and labour leaders agreed in November to cut 30,000
jobs at the VW brand in exchange for a commitment to avoid
forced redundancies in Germany until 2025, a deal that leaves
the carmaker's profitability still lagging rivals.
Labour leaders may halt cooperation with management on
issues such as overtime work, reducing the number of
apprenticeships and a possible extension of weekly hours for
engineers, according to the letter signed by works council boss
Bernd Osterloh and nine other labour representatives.
"The ink on the contracts was hardly dry, and brand
management blatantly infringed on the agreements and the spirit
of the future pact," a works council spokesman said.
Osterloh and fellow labour officials called on Diess and
Blessing to explain by Monday how management aimed to help
resolve the dispute.
Germany's Manager Magazine reported about the letter earlier
(Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Mark Potter)