VW plans short-time work for 80,000 German employees

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Volkswagen Group plans short-time working for about 80,000 employees in Germany after the coronavirus pandemic forced the automaker to idle its European factory network.

Under German short-time working rules the state pays part of the reduced salaries for workers.

A VW spokesman said the reduced hours would be introduced at factories in Lower Saxony, Hessen and Saxony until April 3.

VW Group’s Audi und Porsche brands, and its trucks division MAN, have also applied to introduce short-time working to save costs.

Businesses large and small face a disruption that “goes far beyond” the level of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, VW supervisory board member Bernd Althusmann said in a speech on Tuesday in Hanover, Germany.

Althusmann is the economy minister in Lower Saxony, where VW has its global headquarters.

VW also will support its German dealership network with additional liquidity. The automaker said it had also offered to push out repayment dates, extend credit allowances and make interest rate payments more favorable for its German dealers.

Besides Europe, VW factories in other regions including Russia and South America have also halted operations, while VW’s operations in its largest market China are gradually ramping up output again after the shutdown.

Reuters contributed to this report

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