At VW, the transition towards e-mobility and networking is underway. It is clear that some classic areas and their employees will be eliminated. However, this should be done fairly within the group.

Works council chief and supervisory board member Daniela Cavallo insists on clear commitments to Volkswagen employees in some areas, despite possible job cuts.

Especially in the difficult transition towards e-mobility and networking, the influential employee representatives will ensure that all further changes are carried out in a socially acceptable manner, she told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”: “No one should be left behind.” Basically, the following applies: “At least every workforce, every location needs a perspective.”

Partial retirement or hiring freeze as a solution

At VW there is an employment guarantee until 2029, which is also covered by offers for further qualification to employees in classic areas. In the medium term, the scope of work in the production of conventional combustion engines or in the case of internal supplies, for example in plastics technology, will decrease significantly. “In the course of electrification and digitization, processes and tasks are eliminated,” says Cavallo. The dismantling “in one place or another” must be fair.

She cited voluntary retirement as an example to catch up with those who can no longer or do not want to undergo further training for the “new” world. The nature and implementation of the necessary job cuts were long negotiated with the VW management. These include, for example, extended early retirement offers for older colleagues, an opening of partial retirement for additional cohorts or an extensive external hiring freeze (“level freeze”) in areas that are not part of the core future activities.

Volkswagen AG with around 118,000 employees

The net effect of job losses and job creation cannot yet be precisely determined. In an interview with the newspaper, Cavallo emphasized that there has been an “on balance” increase over the past few years: “At the end of 2016, when our future pact took effect in the wake of the diesel scandal, Volkswagen AG had 114,000 employees. Today there are almost 118,000.”