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Thousands of Daimler employees trim hours to save jobs

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Frankfurt, Germany   /   Wed, July 29, 2020   /   07:30 am
Thousands of Daimler employees trim hours to save jobs Employees wearing protective face masks and face guards work on the automobile assembly line as the maker ramps up car production with new security and health measures as a step to resume full operations, during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Kawasaki factory of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp., owned by Germany-based Daimler AG, in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, Japan May 18, 2020.Thousands of Daimler employees have agreed to cut their hours and give up bonuses this year to save jobs amid the coronavirus crisis, the German carmaker said Tuesday. (REUTERS/Issei Kato)

Thousands of Daimler employees have agreed to cut their hours and give up bonuses this year to save jobs amid the coronavirus crisis, the German carmaker said Tuesday.

The Mercedes-Benz manufacturer was already grappling with a painful restructuring set to include a major jobs cull before the pandemic sent car sales plummeting.

Daimler said in a statement it had reached a deal with German unions that would see administrative employees and staff in other non-factory areas such as logistics, work two hours less a week and take a corresponding pay cut for one year from October 1.

Daimler, which employs nearly 300,000 people worldwide, did not say how many employees in Germany would be affected by the deal.

Daimler's German workers have also agreed to forego their annual profit-sharing bonus this year, which amounted to almost 600 euros ($700) per person in 2019, the statement added.

"We want to thank the workforce for their important, temporary contribution to overcoming this crisis together," Daimler personnel chief Wilfried Porth said.

Workers' representative Michael Brecht called the agreement "a clear contribution to securing jobs and stabilizing our financial situation".

Daimler announced in 2019 that at least 10,000 jobs would be culled as part of the group's efforts to save 1.4 billion euros by 2022, mainly through voluntary redundancies and early retirement schemes.

But German media have reported that number could climb as high as 20,000 as Daimler, like other automakers, faces fallout from weeks of coronavirus lockdowns that halted production lines and kept dealerships closed.

The group posted last week a loss of nearly two billion euros in the second quarter of 2020 owing to the pandemic's impact.

Although sales began to recover as countries eased lockdown measures, Daimler chief executive Ola Kallenius warned that the coming "months and years will be a challenge".