In a meeting with the General Works Council, Volkswagen AG board member Karlheinz Blessing said it the company was facing challenges, but that the German automaker had to work with its employees to get past the recent diesel emissions scandal that has cost the company billions.
“Volkswagen builds fascinating cars that enthrall customers all over the world. Nonetheless, each one of us must understand that we are facing big challenges, we must realign Volkswagen,” Blessing told over 20,000 Volkswagen employees in Germany. “The sooner we begin tackling this task, the greater our chances of shaping a positive future for Volkswagen. Over the coming months we will be working very hard on the pact for the future – that is our path to success.”
Blessing said the company’s earnings were not able to sustain the company’s future tasks and that Volkswagen and its employees need to work together to “increase productivity and profitability and reduce costs” citing the automaker “can and will remain a strong employment powerhouse.”
Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the General Works Council said the employees are “taking the situation very seriously” and that the council is interested in working on a “pact for the future.”
“It will describe the brand’s future strategy, initiate necessary changes and give the workforce the necessary security, because we realize this calls for an enormous effort on the part of the company and the workforce,” Osterloh said. “But we must take bold decisions now if Volkswagen is to be able to offer secure jobs for the long term.”
According to Volkswagen, both sides hope to wrap up negotiations on the pact by the fall so the findings can be included in the Group Planning Round later in 2016.