Volkswagen plans short-time work for 80,000 German employees

Volkswagen Group has announced a short-time work period for 80,000 employees in Germany, after the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic forced the automaker to temporarily cease operations of its factories across Europe. A company spokesperson told Automotive News Europe that the reduced hours would be introduced in three plants – Lower Saxony, Hessen, and Saxony until April 3.

According to German short-time working rules, the state will pay a portion of the reduced salaries for workers. Other brand under its wing, such as Audi, Porsche, and its trucks division MAN, have also applied with authorities to implement short-time working in a bid to save costs.

Volkswagen supervisory board member, Bernd Althusmann said businesses of all scales face a disruption that “goes far beyond” the 2008 financial crisis. Althusmann is also the economy minister in Lower Saxony, where VW’s global headquarters is located.

Besides that, the auto giant will provide support for its German dealership network with additional liquidity. It even offered to defer repayment dates, extend credit allowances and make interest rate payments for favourable for its dealers.

While most of VW’s factories in Russia and South America remain shut, the company is slowly ramping up output in China after the government announced that it would lift the lockdown. In the Hubei province, there’s been no new Covid-19 cases for five consecutive days, which means businesses in Wuhan can resume operations soon, albeit based on risk assessment. The easing of restriction will be extended to Wuhan on April 8.

Tags: COVID-19

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