Agreement regarding key points for a future concept
Works Council and Executive Board Agree on Restructuring Measures for the Company's Wuppertal Location
The plan according to this mutual agreement is for the number of employees at the Wuppertal plant to be set at around 1,000. This means that around 500 jobs will be cut at the Wuppertal location by the end of 2015, which is around 250 less than the figure that was originally planned. Due to the existing surplus capacities, it was agreed that 226 jobs are to be cut in the immediate future. Some employees have already left the company using voluntary agreements to terminate their contracts with an additional severance payment - an option that has been available to them since July 2013 and will remain available until the end of the year. The affected employees will be offered the option of transferring to an interim employment company from February 2014 onwards. The further jobs will be cut during the period up to the end of 2015 by means of socially responsible measures wherever possible, such as progressive retirement, voluntary contract termination agreements, and natural fluctuation. Due to the acutely problematic work situation, it will not be possible to permanently retain employees completing their training in the year 2014. However, the Executive Board still fully professes its support for training measures, which are to continue at this location to a reduced extent.
"The overall package that we have agreed upon makes it possible for us to accommodate most of the necessary restructuring measures in a socially responsible way. We are optimistic that the agreed restructuring and changes will make it possible to safeguard our Wuppertal location and adjust its orientation in such a way that it is prepared for the future", said Rudolf Lenhart, Member of the Executive Board Schaeffler Industrial.
In addition to these personnel measures, the Executive Board and Works Council have also agreed upon a package of measures to reduce personnel costs and to improve the location's productivity through the use of defined parameters such as quality, added value, and delivery reliability. Further components of this package include a new wage premium system and increased flexibility through the use of working time accounts and flexible shift models that will allow requirement-based resource planning. The Executive Board and Works Council have also agreed to work closely together in developing a more extensive concept for the future of the location, which is to include organizational and structural improvement measures, as well as new investments for the plant.
Due to the poor levels of demand in the large-size bearing sector, which have remained unchanged, the Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG plant in Wuppertal is being negatively affected by insufficient capacity utilization and high levels of surplus capacity. The Executive Board informed employees of the personnel surplus and the necessary restructuring measures and commenced negotiations with the Works Council in April 2013. The large-size bearings produced in Wuppertal are chiefly used in the wind power and heavy industry sectors.
Schaeffler with its product brands INA, LuK and FAG is a leading provider of rolling bearing and plain bearing solutions and of linear and direct drive technology, as well as a renowned supplier to the automotive industry of high-precision products and systems for engines, transmissions, and chassis applications. The globally active group of companies generated sales of approximately 11.1 billion euros in 2012. With over 76,000 employees worldwide, Schaeffler is one of the largest German and European industrial companies in family ownership.
The Industrial division supplies components and systems for around 60 industrial sectors via its worldwide organization with market proximity and its application support service. The range comprises more than 225,000 products from miniature bearings only a few millimeters wide, e.g. for dental drills, to large-size bearings with an outside diameter of several meters, e.g. for wind turbines.