Lanxess, union agree on fewer hours, pay cuts

30 January 2009 19:27  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--LANXESS and union IG BCE have agreed to introduce short-time working hours and pay cuts for 5,000 non-managerial workers in Germany as the chemicals producer responds to declining demand amid the global recession, it said on Friday.

A 35-hour work week with corresponding pay cuts would be introduced in March for initially 12 months, the company said.

In addition, there would be no bonus for 2009.

LANXESS also said that salaries of managerial employees would be “adjusted”, salary reviews would be postponed by at least six months, and the board of management would take a pay cut equivalent to about 10% of fixed salary.

Outside of Germany, salary reviews worldwide would also be postponed by at least six months.

In some countries, salary increases would be postponed by twelve months. In addition, measures to lower personnel costs would be agreed upon according to the respective country conditions, LANXESS said.

Overall, the measures were expected to save LANXESS some €50m ($65m) in cash outflow in the 2009-2010 period, it said.

“We are in the midst of a global recession,” LANXESS CEO Axel Heitmann said.

“Customer demand, especially in the automobile and construction industries, remained weak in January, and we do not expect the current economic environment to radically improve going forward,” he said.

“LANXESS has the expertise to cope with difficult economic conditions. We have already demonstrated our competence in the recent past with the realignment of our company.

“I am impressed by the commitment and the flexibility of our employees worldwide” Heitman said.

Should economic conditions worsen in the coming months, senior management and employee representatives would meet on a regular basis to discuss further measures, the company added.

LANXESS employs 15,000 people in 21 countries.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on LANXESS visit ICIS company intelligence
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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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