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VW faces rift between board and works council

Volkswagen's works council chief has sharply criticized the company's board for leaving employees in the dark about the thrust and impact of planned savings measures in the wake of the firm's pollution scandal.

The head of Volkswagen's works council, Bernd Osterloh (pictured), sent a letter to senior company executives on Friday saying the Board of Directors' information policy with regard to planned savings measures was completely insufficient.

He called on management to start talks immediately about its efforts to reduce spending in the light of the German carmaker's deepening pollution scandal.

"So far, we've only seen individual measures, but

management has not yet presented an overall concept,"

Osterloh said in the letter.

Putting up a fight

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VW: Germany's 'green' reputation tarnished

VW said last month it would cut investment at its biggest division by 1 billion euros ($1.07 billion) annually, while stepping up the development of electric vehicles.

Osterloh underlined that employees had the right to learn more details about the planned savings and restructuring., saying: "We appeal to CEO Matthias Müller … not to put at risk the unity between employees and management by continuing a policy of speechlessness."

The works council chief argued his group had been left out in the cold in the decision-making process, with savings measures being announced by management unilaterally and without a solid basis.

"The protection of workers is at stake - workers,who are obviously meant to pay the price for a crisis that others have caused," Osterloh warned.

hg/nz (AFP, AP)

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