According to the automaker’s powerful works council, Volkswagen is now discussing whether to lower the number of temporary workers in a bid to ease the financial toll stemming from the massive diesel emissions scandal.
The council, which represents the labor officials within the company, announced they were supportive of the move to safeguard even the temporary jobs but are also aware the company’s board was considering “different scenarios”. Volkswagen recently announced it was now unable to foresee how the employment and sales levels would unfold during the coming period, after announcing recently sliding sales for the VW namesake brand and the 12-marquee group (7.43 million autos, down 1.5 percent from the first nine months of 2014). “If employment declines temporarily, shortened working hours will be a reasonable option,” commented the company, adding the executive managers were doing everything they could to secure jobs.
Last month the company admitted it had cheated on diesel emissions tests in the US and that up to 11 million autos around the world had been sold with the illegal software on board, prompting the biggest crisis in the company’s 78-year history. In the wake of the scandal, VW has already announced it would fall back on investment plans at the core VW subsidiary by 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) a year. According to analysts, the “dieselgate” scandal could in the end cost the company as much as 35 billion euros ($40 billion) to cover all costs, including repairs, regulatory penalties and lawsuits.