Volkswagen and IG Metall (metalworkers’ union in Germany) have successfully concluded negotiations for Volkswagen AG’s employees. As a result of the Corona crisis, the talks took place under exceptionally difficult conditions. The collective bargaining parties agreed to continue to apply the collective wage agreements terminated on April 30, 2020 without increasing the table wages until the end of December 2020. The term is eight months. At the same time, support was agreed for employees so that they could better cope with everyday life in the corona crisis.
Arne Meiswinkel, General Representative of Volkswagen AG and negotiator of the company in the wage round, says: “The corona crisis presented the wage parties with special challenges. The collective bargaining round was also about keeping the consequences for companies and employees within limits and preparing for the restart in the best possible way. Under these conditions, the only correct answer is a conclusion by sight: with a short term, with the aim of advancing our important projects even in difficult times, and with the aim of finding pragmatic and realistic solutions for our employees so that they can best deal with the situation.”
It was agreed, among other things, to extend the option to convert the additional wage compensation into six non-working days that has been valid since 2019: In future, the option will also apply to employees who look after a child who has not yet reached the age of 12. So far, the upper limit was at the end of the 10th year of life. To date, around 9,400 parents have opted for the leave periods in 2020. The option to make a change is also being expanded for parents and carers: a change is now possible in up to five years instead of two.
Mobile work is also further simplified. In the future, employees who can determine the end and start of their daily working hours will be able to take a rest period reduced from eleven to nine hours. For example, this gives parents who are mobile, the freedom to interrupt their working hours in the evening for childcare. The shortened rest period is then compensated for at a later point in time.
For the new limited statutory compensation claim in the event of loss of earnings as a result of school or daycare closure during the Corona crisis, Volkswagen is granting a wage-related subsidy insofar as this is not counted towards the compensation.
On the other hand, an operational opening clause for a new sabbatical model (“My time out”) was agreed. This model enables a needs-based and timely professional break of up to six months for all employees. The employer makes an advance payment for this, and the employee(s) only have to pay back into the individual credit account after the exemption.
In addition, there is agreement to reorganize the performance-related remuneration components for salaried employees by September 30, 2020 as part of a negotiation obligation.
Contract term: 8 months, from May 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
Scope: The in-house collective agreement of Volkswagen AG applies to almost 120,000 employees at the plants in Wolfsburg, Braunschweig, Hanover, Salzgitter, Emden and Kassel as well as Volkswagen Financial Services AG.