Economy & Politics

Car maker is negotiating rapid job cuts

BMW wants to cut some jobs quickly – but without layoffs. Photo: dpa / Sina Schuldt

BMW wants to cut jobs and save staff elsewhere. That should work without notice. The works council announces resistance to individual measures.

Munich – BMW wants to accelerate job cuts in the Group. The board of directors is negotiating with the works council on how to cut around 6,000 of the 126,000 jobs worldwide as soon as possible without redundancies. CFO Nicolas Peter said on Friday on request: “The decisions made so far are not sufficient to steer the BMW Group in the best possible way through this enormously difficult situation.” HR Manager Ilka Horstmeier said, in addition to the reduction of time and vacation accounts and short-time work, “we are coming not avoid taking further action now. “

More vacation days instead of additional money

It is being examined to send employees into retirement earlier than a few years before the statutory retirement age. The trainees who will finish this year are to be taken on. But young employees should be able to take time off to study or qualify – with the guarantee that they will be able to work again at BMW afterwards. In addition, there should be more vacation days instead of a collective wage supplement and 40-hour contracts should be reduced to 35 hours. “Our goal is to adopt a package in June,” said Horstmeier.

Read here: Car maker Renault plans to cut almost 15,000 jobs

The reduction in the 40-hour contracts is viewed particularly critically by the works council: “The reduction from 40 to 35 hours is a serious cut for the employees concerned, so that we definitely cannot accept this from the works council,” said BMW works council chief Manfred Schoch. The works council also wants to look closely at the automaker’s severance program. It is important that this always happens voluntarily, it said. In case of doubt, legal advice from IG Metall should be available to employees.

About 5000 employees usually leave the car company every year, half of them retire. Any vacancies that are vacant will be checked in each individual case. In the recession, however, fewer employees switch to other companies than in normal times.

BMW expects a loss like VW and Daimler in the current quarter. Sales are poor, the plants work in one shift. CEO Oliver Zipse said at the annual general meeting in mid-May: “The forecasts for 2020 are bleak.” A company agreement guarantees every employee his or her job – but only as long as the company generates an annual profit.

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