The powerful German worker union IG Metall has not taken kindly the offer to raise wages by 2.2 percent for the workers in German factories, with Volkswagen AG harshly criticized for diving below the 5.5 percent demand.
Volkswagen AG, the second largest carmaker in the world is also Europe’s largest, and its management is also comprised of union representatives, which gives way for some troublesome negotiations for the German workers wages. “This is not an offer, it’s impudence,” commented in a statement the VW works council chief Bernd Osterloh. “This workforce cannot only work, it can also fight for fair compensation if necessary.” The German carmaker has also offered next to the salary raise a plan to create 2,800 apprenticeships in 2015 and 2016, according to Wolfsburg-based VW – which also pointed out that its offer falls in line with the strategy of the automaker that takes into account deteriorating conditions in crucial regional markets. “VW is unable to extricate itself from (geopolitical) uncertainties,” said the automaker’s leading pay negotiator, Martin Rosik.
The VW group announced earlier this week after seeing the core passenger car brand sales slip for the fourth month in a row in January that it was now preparing for a “challenging year” – with slumping demand in the key European and Chinese markets- the ones that until now were tasked to offset slumps in the US or Brazil. VW’s worker representatives sidestepped the concerns, reminding of the carmaker’s record vehicle sales achieved in 2014. For example, the primary Wolfsburg factory had 180 additional shifts last year to cope with excess demand and make up for technical disruptions.