Porsche works council chief threatens strikes over possible VW takeover | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 19.07.2009
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Porsche works council chief threatens strikes over possible VW takeover

Porsche works council head Uwe Hueck has decried the potential takeover of Porsche by Volkswagen, and called for a union takeover of the company's premises to effectively paralyze the luxury carmaker.

The Volkswagen logo in front of a Porsche building

VW faces stiff opposition from the Porsche works council

With the message that "you cannot make a Porsche with parts from a (Volkswagen) Polo," Hueck sharply criticized any planned takeover by VW, saying that such a move would endanger the jobs of some 11,000 Porsche workers.

Hueck said a takeover would only serve to fulfill the dreams of VW chief Ferdinand Piech, adding: "Porsche workers have made amazing gains over the last 14 years and will fight for the self-sufficiency of Porsche."

German media has said Porsche and VW are close to a deal that would eventually give VW control of Porsche. This comes amid reports that Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking would be stepping down, which Porsche has rejected.

There are no official details on the talks or the deal itself, with neither company yet to release a statement. According to Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, the deal would eventually give VW control of Porsche. Initially, it had been Porsche that wanted to swallow VW, but the luxury carmaker ran into serious financial troubles as a result of the takeover effort.

Porsche CEO rejects rumors of resignation

Wendelin Wiedeking and Michael Macht

Reports say Wiedeking (left) will be replaced by Macht (right)

The news of an eventual merger comes amid a report in Der Spiegel this week that Wiedeking would be removed from the top job at Porsche, to be replaced by Michael Macht, the company's current production chief. But Porsche has denied the reports, saying that Wiedeking will remain as the company's CEO.

That was despite a report in weekly publication Bild am Sonntag that Wiedeking stood to receive a 100-million-euro ($140 million) "golden parachute" for stepping aside following a takeover by VW. That would be the largest severance package in German corporate history.

Uwe Hueck, the works council head, went so far as to say that the information was part of an attempt to "destroy a man."

Wiedeking himself has also said he plans to complete his contract, which expires in 2012.

Porsche's repeated denial that Wiedeking is for the chop is unlikely to stop the speculation.

dfm/glb/ca/dpa/AFP
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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