Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Shift Model in Wolfsburg to Bring Substantial Savings

Text from Volkswagen AG.
WOLFSBURG, Germany - Management and Works Council at the Wolfsburg plant reached agreement today on a new shift model for the Wolfsburg factory.

The new working time rules will bring annual savings of 50 million Euro. As a result of the agreement, the Volkswagen brand Board of Management has decided to build over 390,000 vehicles at the main plant in Wolfsburg next year.

Dietmar Korzekwa, Wolfsburg Plant Manager, commented: “Together with the Works Council, we have achieved annual savings of some 50 million Euro, thus safeguarding both plant and jobs.”

Without this agreement, some 90,000 fewer vehicles would have been built.

Savings will come from measures such as constant shift teams, i.e. early and late shift alternation followed by an all-night shift. As a result, the 20-minute breaks in the early and late shifts have been dropped. Furthermore, productivity has been enhanced by “uncoupling” shifts. This means that there is a pause between two shifts, e.g. for maintenance work or getting material ready. The changes in working time rules also mean there will be no night shift bonuses. The new shift model will significantly strengthen the competitiveness of the Wolfsburg plant.

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