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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-06-2004, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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DCX union says automaker wants big cuts in German labor costs

From Automotive News:
DCX union says automaker wants big cuts in German labor costs

Reuters / July 06, 2004

KARLSRUHE, Germany -- DaimlerChrysler insists on wringing out hundreds of millions of euros from labor costs as the price for committing itself to build new car models in Germany, a top labor official said on Tuesday.

"The company is demanding several hundred million euros in savings," DaimlerChrysler works council head Erich Klemm told an IG Metall union meeting, adding the car maker had rejected as insufficient an offer by workers to save at least 180 million euros yearly by foregoing agreed pay increases.

Promising to start protests as negotiations heat up, Klemm declared that unions would fight company demands that wages at assembly operations drop by as much as 700 euros a month as a way to safeguard 10,000 German car jobs until 2012.

Cutting pay or working longer hours without compensation was out of the question, Klemm said. "You will hear a lot in the days ahead from a work force that knows how to defend itself," he added.

A DaimlerChrysler spokesman declined to comment on what he described as ongoing negotiations.

Faced with intense global competition and a stagnant domestic economy, increasing numbers of German companies are seeking labor concessions as a way to boost productivity and maintain Germany as an attractive manufacturing center.

Workers at two Siemens plants have already agreed to work longer hours without extra pay, a step hailed by employers but greeted warily by unions who do not want it to be seen as setting a precedent for other employees.

The only DaimlerChrysler plants that make luxury Mercedes-Benz cars and Maybach limousines in Europe are in Germany even though other car makers have diversified production to tap relatively inexpensive labor in eastern Europe.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-06-2004, 08:07 PM
 
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It's a sad state and sign of greater internal problems when a company decides to pursue taking money away from it's employees as a way of dealing with lost profits.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-06-2004, 10:37 PM
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Employees(unions) are one of the big problems with the big two and Chrysler. They need to bitch slap those employes at contract time. When they advertise for new hires and don't get 5,000 peole at the door the wages will be realistic. Now they are way over paid.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-06-2004, 11:57 PM
 
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I'm not sure what auto employees make, but I don't remember ever reading it to be excessive. The employees and their wages were never a problem for the auto makers back in Detroit's heyday. I will never advocate wages or bennefits being taken away from employees when a company is seeking an easy route to deal with profit problems.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-07-2004, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Operator
... The employees and their wages were never a problem for the auto makers back in Detroit's heyday ...
The article isn't referring to American jobs ...

"Back in the day" Detroit didn't have real foreign competition ...
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