New collective agreement signed at Volkswagen
In April 1999, pay increases of 3.2% were agreed at Volkswagen in Germany, along with additional remuneration elements. However, the future of the company's 6,000 temporary employees was not resolved.
In April 1999, a new company collective agreement was agreed between the German car producer Volkswagen and the IG Metall metalworkers' trade union for the roughly 100,000 employees at the company's western German production locations. The agreement, which runs for 14 months, includes the following provisions:
- a 3.2% pay increase from 1 August 1999;
- an annual bonus of DEM 1,600; and
- the award of shares (Zeitwertpapiere) worth DEM 400 to full-time employees, who may use them for financing individual pension plans.
During the negotiations, IG Metall had sought the transformation of the contracts of Volkswagen's current 6,000 temporary employees into permanent contracts: 4,000 of the temporary contracts will end in 1999 and the other 2,000 in the following year. It was agreed that the renewal of temporary contracts and the permanent recruitment of the temporary staff will be negotiated locally every month at production sites.
After 560 temporary contracts ended without renewal at the end of April 1999 at the Emden production site, the plant's employees went on strike. After further negotiations, an intermediary solution was found: the temporary contracts will be extended for another six months on the same conditions as before - ie at lower rates than permanent employees. In the meantime, the social partners will try to find a general solution to the issue of temporary employment at Volkswagen.