By on August 24, 2011

Saab has already warned its workers that paychecks due tomorrow could be delayed until “committed” funds from investors arrive, but Bloomberg reports that the warning may not be enough. According to the report

Any delay in the August payments will prompt the unions immediately to start a process aimed at ensuring state coverage of wages in the event of the carmaker’s failure, officials from the IF Metall and Unionen labor groups said. The unions, after gaining employees’ backing, would first file payment requests with Saab. If salaries remain unpaid in seven days, the unions may then ask a district court to declare Saab bankrupt.

That could put Saab into bankruptcy in as little as two weeks. Saab’s long nightmare seems to be drawing to a close.

Though Saabsunited is predictably highlighting a supportive comment from an ostensible worker, the unions are not happy. A Unionen rep tells

If salaries are delayed for the third time this summer, it’s obviously completely unacceptable. We know there’s a strong sense of loyalty among employees, but the question is if the boundary for this loyalty hasn’t been reached

IF Metall is equally at the end of its rope, telling Bloomberg

We must start the process, as there’s no alternative to our moving to protect our members’ wages. Later, if we don’t see a solution, we’ll likely be forced to act.

Saab meanwhile, insists that it is

doing everything we can to prevent salaries being paid late this time, but there’s still a risk that will happen. Paying the salaries is our No. 1 priority, and our second priority is to restart production.

But, having audited at least one of Saab’s bank accounts, the Swedish Debt Enforcement Office (Kronofogden) questions whether the money is there to both pay off suppliers and pay workers. The Kronofogden’s Hans Ryberg tells that the first two suppliers in line, Kongsberg and Infotiv, need to be paid in about a week… and that they’ll take any money intended for Saab’s employees if they can find it. Per thelocal’s report

But the Enforcement Agency’s search for Saab’s money is also ongoing. Their goal is to find and collect the 163 million kronor that various creditors have asked for.

If they find the account containing employees’ wages, which according to Saab’s intentions ought to contain roughly 100 million kronor within the next couple of days, the money will be levied.

“Saab’s suppliers also have employees waiting for salaries,” explained Hans Ryberg, manager of Uddevalla’s enforcement division

So, in order to pay workers, Saab has to sneak money to them before the Kronofogden finds it and gives it to suppliers. If workers don’t get paid, Saab goes bankrupt. But if the suppliers, who are supposed to be paid first, don’t get their money, you get the same outcome. In other words, hang tight: we’re looking at about two more weeks of this sad tale, and then we’ll all be able to get on with life.

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39 Comments on “Saab Unions: Bankruptcy Two Weeks Away If Pay Is Delayed (And It Will Be)...”

  • avatar

    “In other words, hang tight: we’re looking at about two more weeks of this sad tale, and then we’ll all be able to get on with life.”

    It’s not a sad tale… It’s a Saab story.

  • avatar

    Two weeks? Ugh…better hurry with that 9-4X review, Michael/Alex!

  • avatar

    That picture is an epic fail!

  • avatar

    that is not a Saab, it’s an old Renault 12

  • avatar

    It ssems like even the reporting about Saab is going wildly up and down. First we hear Saab can’t pay employees. Then we hear Saab has actually quite a bit of money in the bank. Now it’s back to no money to pay workers again?

  • avatar

    There is still hope. Saab is expecting investor money in the next ten days. This will leave enough money to pay salaries and the suppliers. Don’t write off Saab now. People have been reporting their demise for six months now and Saab is still kicking. Saab will obtain the necessary funding to keep going. What happens after that is anyone’s guess with sales at such a terrible state.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Too bad Subaru cannot jump in and save them. It would be a good fit.

    • 0 avatar

      SAAB isn’t a good fit anywhere. Subaru, China, the world, you name it – needs a tiny company producing an unremarkable Opel derivative like they need a second crack in their butts.

      This mythical investor that’s going to swoop in and save them, does he by any chance wear a red suit? From what I hear, he works with reindeer and doesn’t need a SAAB either.

    • 0 avatar

      They need a partner. I think VAG would be a good fit.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Many former Saab drivers (myself included) jumped to Subarus. Leaving the world of Swedish cars for that of Japanese AWD cars was one of the best decisions I made. Having a car that started every time and NEVER had any electrical problems was a revelation.

      Subaru has many former Saab owners driving their products; they don’t need the Saab brand and vehicles.

      That said, the Saabaru 9-2x is the only modern “Saab” I’d consider owning. It fixes the WRX’s mutant insect styling.

  • avatar

    Why is a photograph of a Dacia accompanying a SAAB article?

  • avatar

    Ugh.. this is like watching a bad after school special on continuous play loop.

  • avatar

    Dear friend Swade just confirmed that the payment of salaries will indeed be “dalayed”.

    “We can now confirm that there is a delay. The company is working hard to secure financing, enabling us to fulfill our commitments. At present we cannot confirm a date for the payment of salaries but we will continue to provide updated information for staff, including information about white collar salaries.”

  • avatar

    I dunno. If I was facing MY auto plant shutting down FORFingEVER, I would have worked to fill orders the last half of July and August and gone on vacation in September.

    Have ya seen that new orange convertible? Looks pretty good.

  • avatar

    Fire all of those union workers in this highly indebted welfare state. NOW!!! The world is the better for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Let me guess: Replacing automotive unions with underpaid Chinese workers in a Foxconn-like suicide factory would be your preferred alternative.

      I don’t care at all for the UAW, but the labor unions that put together my German and Japanese cars in Germany and Japan seem to have done a good job.

      • 0 avatar

        To be fair to Foxconn (!!!) the facility in question is huge and resembles a factory-town more than a traditional workplace as you or I understand it. If you consider it in that respect, the suicide rate is lower than that of a city of comparable size.

        But otherwise, yes, I agree with your point.

      • 0 avatar

        Kapitalists abandoning Amerika is my preferred alternative. Rejoice!!!

        Those are German and Jap labor unions. Swedes should just stick to singing ABBA songs. lolz

      • 0 avatar

        And thank you for helping subsidize the freeloading PIIGS countries by buying a German car and another thank you for helping Japan sink further into deeper debt by buying a Japanese car. You, sir, are a saint!

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        “another thank you for helping Japan sink further into deeper debt by buying a Japanese car. ”

        That makes no sense whatsoever.

      • 0 avatar

        Every time you buy a car from a nation of debt-whores, you keep supporting the cycle.

  • avatar

    25 years on a death bed is too long kill it NOW

  • avatar
    bobby b

    If the employees are trying to race the suppliers to the mystery bank accounts, but it’s all going into bankruptcy court anyway no matter who finds the money first, how would this not end up being an illegal preferential payment within the lookback period? Or do they just sort of count on the court not making the employees pay it all back into the estate? Out of pity, or something, I suppose?

    (I’m assuming, obviously, that when the article says that the suppliers are supposed to be paid first, it means they have some sort of perfected interest in there somewhere.)

  • avatar

    Two more weeks of this? Damn, good thing this happened in summer, when there is nothing but baseball to watch.

  • avatar

    Every now and then I find myself daydreaming that a bankruptcy fire-sale priced new SAAB might be a lot of fun but then I laugh myself out of it.

    And then the thought creeps back in. How low would the price have to go before it would be a good deal?

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