Subsidized short-time work program credited with keeping down German unemployment during recession
BERLIN—General Motors Co.’s Opel unit says employees at two of its German plants will work reduced hours over the next few months as the company struggles with a sagging European car market.
Opel has agreed with its employee council and the IG Metall industrial union that workers at the Ruesselsheim plant and the Kaiserslautern components factory will work reduced hours on 20 days through the end of the year.
Opel board member Holger Kimmes said the company until recently was able to compensate for decreased production through measures such as accounting for accrued overtime hours.
The government-subsidized short-time work program, which allows employers to reduce production without cutting their workforce, was credited with keeping down German unemployment during the 2008-9 financial crisis.