According to a recent report from Motor1, “The factory that produces the Boxster and the 911 will be subject to strike action this week,” as Germany labor unions are demanding a pay increase for all workers, in addition to a shorter work week. The IG Metall labour union is imploring its members to halt production lines and lay down tools for one hour, in a first volley of strikes. Germans are known for valuing productivity and a precise and steady flow of their production lines. Only one hour of production down time could potentially cost Porsche millions of dollars in productivity loss. The strike’s announcement was made preemptively, the union hoping they could come to a compromise prior to the line shutdown.
Porsche Works Council chief Uwe Hueck has been supportive of the union, stating in an email “The current state of the employer’s lobby is a provocation to workers. The metal and engineering industry has never before made so much profit. That’s why there is only one appropriate response: Warning strikes.” But not everyone has been quite so accepting of the terms. The members of Suedwestmetall [an employers lobby for Porsche, Daimler, and Robert Bosch, among others] got together and decided to counter offer with a 2% pay increase and a one-time bonus payment of 200 euros (about $271 dollars).
The worker class seem incensed by the offer, as all week various factories had been producing slower than normal and production lines have experienced a number of unexpected stoppages and delays. All of this happening prior to the pre-planned one-hour tool laydown walkout. The next round of pay negotiations is tabled for Thursday, and the walkouts are intended to apply pressure to the management teams to pay a few more euros. Last week several hundred workers, from a number of facilities, left their stations in support of the pay increase request.
Depending on how Thursday’s negotiations turn out, Porsche could expect continued and longer walkouts from the union. Even a delay in production at mega supplier Robert Bosch could potentially cause a future slowdown of Porsche’s production line.