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Business

Progress in Volkswagen Pay Talks

After weeks of stalemate, progress appeared to have been made in the current round of wage talks at German carmaker Volkswagen (VW), with management agreeing in principle to job guarantees, unions said on Wednesday. VW said it was ready to provide jobs guarantees for its 103,000 production staff in Germany -- the main demand of the IG Metall labor union -- in return for concessions on the part of workforce, the unions said at the end of a third round of talks on Tuesday. A spokesman for IG Metall described the development as a "small step in the right direction but there are still questions that will have to be tackled in future negotiations." VW's chief negotiator Josef-Fidelis Senn said that one of the conditions for job guarantees would be a sharp reduction in labor costs. "We're still a long way apart on the details," Senn said. The next round of negotiations was scheduled to take place on Oct. 21. Faced with falling sales, VW wants a wage-freeze and increased flexibility of working hours for its German factory staff. (AFP)

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