Qatar Wants Less Labor Influence at Volkswagen, Maybe
According to a report by Bild am Sonntag (via Reuters), Volkswagen’s third largest shareholder, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), wants trade unions to have less influence in what happens at the automaker amid Volkswagen’s ongoing emissions scandal.
QIA, which owns 17 percent of Volkswagen, is said to use a meeting scheduled today with automaker CEO Matthias Müller to “demand a scaling back of the role of the works council,” reported Reuters.
Volkswagen representatives denied the report, stating, “Co-determination (joint decision-making by corporate and labor representatives) and the (role of the) works council were not on the agenda of the talks.”
The works council holds as many seats on the supervisory board as shareholders, reported Reuters, and the works council has long staved off cuts that would be immediately detrimental to Volkswagen’s unionized workforce.
However, as QIA sees its Volkswagen share value dwindle, the sovereign investment fund may be looking to have more control over the goings on of Volkswagen’s affairs, even if it means cutting the workforce to satisfy the bottom line.
A Forbes article in late September stated QIA could have a paper loss of $8.4 billion on Volkswagen alone.
Additionally, it was reported QIA wants Volkswagen to make a bigger play in the electric vehicle space in the United States as a way to recover from the company’s now-dirty diesel image.
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