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Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK
VW workers agree to work longer
Staff at VW factory in Wolfsburg
Volkswagen wants staff to work longer to cut production costs
Volkswagen has struck a deal with unions to extend the working week of staff at six German plants without any increase in pay.

In return for raising their hours by four hours a week to 33 hours, the 100,000 workers have been guaranteed job security until 2011.

The carmaker promised to build the next generation of its flagship Golf model at its main factory in Wolfsburg.

The company wants to cut costs for the production of its vehicles.

Cars such as the Golf are selling strongly but are bringing in little profit.

VW had been seeking a 35-hour week without extra pay.

"These binding and concrete product promises secure the work force through 2011 and beyond in all six west German production locations," said Hartmut Meine, negotiator for the IG Metall union.

VW also promised unions that the Wolfsburg site would be given another high-volume model to produce, and would be used to its full capacity of 460,000 cars per year.

"With an agreement on the main points, we have taken a big step forward in the restructuring of Volkswagen," said the company's human resources director Horst Neumann.

"The negotiations were very tough, but they were characterised by a common will to raise Volkswagen's competitiveness.

"With a return to normal working times, we have achieved that."


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