EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Voelkl AG

Voelkl AG

Geographic Location

Country: Germany
Location of affected unit(s): Straubing


Sector: Arts / entertainment
Arts, entertainment and recreation
93 - Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities
Number Employed: 520
Group: K2

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 03-12-2004
Planned Job Reductions min: 150
Planned Job Reductions max: 150
Type of Restructuring: Offshoring/Delocalisation

Additional Information

German sports equipment maker Voelkl AG, a unit of U.S. sector group K2, plans to cut 150 jobs at its plant in Straubing in case labour costs were not reduced by 20%, Voelkl said on 3 December 2004. According to Heinz Hausner with German trade union for the metal, engineering, coal and steel industries, IG Metall, Voelkl might already have decided on outsourcing ski production to China. IG Metall also said Voelkl might shift some 450 jobs to China, adding that the company might use the Straubing site only for marketing and development purposes in the future. The company, however, denied any outsourcing plans. Voelkl has already moved its snowboards production to China. The negotiations on the further reduction of labour costs, however, hit a standstill. According to IG metall and the works council, employees have so far agreed to a 5% reduction. Voelkl currently has a 10% market share globally. Voelkl is currently facing tough competition from Austria, where labour costs are 27% lower, the company said. In June 2005, Voelkl confirmed that it will transfer parts of its production to China. This comes in the wake of failed talks with the trade unions about cost-cutting. A Voelkl spokesman said that the management wants to guarantee 370 jobs at the factory in Straubing, which means 150 fewer jobs than its current 520.