Strikes threatened as Porsche defies VW takeover

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19 Jul, 2009 Updated Sun 19 Jul 2009 13:57 CEST
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The titanic power struggle between two of Germany’s auto giants went into the next round on Sunday, as Uwe Hück, head of Porsche’s works committee defied VW’s takeover.

“You can’t make a Porsche out of Polo parts,” Hück told newspaper Bild am Sonntag, announcing that Porsche workers would resist the takeover.

Various media reports confirm that trade union IG Metall and other worker representatives are threatening indefinite strikes and even factory sit-ins to disable production.

Hück told reporters that a VW takeover would endanger Porsche’s 11,000 jobs and would only serve to fulfill the dream of Ferdinand Piech, head of VW and co-owner of Porsche. According to Hück, Piech wants to be the sole ruler of both companies. “He doesn’t care if that costs us jobs,” Hück said.

“Porsche workers have made galactic profits in the last 14 years, and will now fight galactically for independence,” Hück said.

Porsche’s current crisis is a result of its misguided attempt to take over VW, which resulted in catastrophic debts for the sports car company. It is currently negotiating with the Arab Emirate Qatar among others in order to try to relieve its financial burdens, estimated at more than €9 billion.

Hück told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that Porsche employees had made a plan on how the company could be saved: they want Piech and the Porsche family to invest €2.5 billion in the company, a further €2.5 billion should come from other shareholders, and then the rest could be provided by an outside investor.

A meeting of the two companies’ boards of directors is planned for Thursday to discuss the takeover. Among the issues to be resolved will be the compensation package for Wendelin Wiedeking, the Porsche CEO likely to be sacked soon.

Wiedeking earned around €77 million last year, and could therefore expect a package of up to €100 million, according to some media reports.



2009/07/19 13:57

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