Qatar Wants Less Labor Influence at Volkswagen, Maybe

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
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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  • Ratsnake Ratsnake on Dec 06, 2015

    VW is just helping this particular SWF turn tail and go home faster than others being liquidated to make up budget holes with the oil price stuck at $40. Bye! The role of codetermination in destroying value at VW is pretty much nothing compared to management and engineering issues related to fraud on regulators around the world.

  • Voyager Voyager on Dec 11, 2015

    What can you say? The Qatarese are used to having slaves doing their manual labor, as can be seen in the building of the facilities meant for the World Championship of Soccer in 2022. Which costed hundreds of lives already. If there's one solid reason why the world should be better off with less oil, is that the Arabs will no longer have the kind of influence that they still hold now.

  • Arthur Dailey Ford was on a roll with these large cars. The 'aircraft' inspired instrument 'pod' for the driver rather than the 'flat' instrument panel. Note that this vehicle does not have the clock. The hands and numbers are missing. Having the radio controls on the left side of the driver could however be infuriating. Although I admire pop-up/hideaway headlights, Ford's vacuum powered system was indeed an issue. If I left my '78 T-Bird parked for more than about 12 hours, there was a good chance that when I returned the headlight covers had retracted. The first few times this happened it gave me a 'start' as I feared that I may have left the lights on and drained the battery.
  • Jeff S Still a nice car and I remember these very well especially in this shade of green. The headlights were vacuum controlled. I always liked the 67 thru 72 LTDs after that I found them bloated. Had a friend in college with a 2 door 71 LTD which I drove a couple of times it was a nice car.
  • John H Last week after 83 days, dealership said mine needs new engine now. They found metal in oil. Potential 8 to 9 month wait.
  • Dukeisduke An aunt and uncle of mine traded their '70 T-Bird (Beakbird) for a brand-new dark metallic green '75 LTD two-door, fully loaded. My uncle hated seat belts, so the first time I saw the car (it was so new that the '75 models had just landed at the dealerships) he proudly showed me how he'd pulled the front seat belts all the way out of their retractors, and cut the webbing with a razor blade(!).Just a year later, they traded it in for a new '76 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (they had owned a couple of Imperials in the '60s), and I imagine the Cadillac dealer took a chunk out to the trade-in, to get the front seat belts replaced.
  • CaddyDaddy Lease fodder that in 6 years will be on the 3rd owner in a poverty bound aspirational individual's backyard in a sub par neighborhood sinking into the dirt. The lending bank will not even want to repossess and take possession of this boat anchor of a toxic waste dump. This proves that EVs are not even close to being ready for prime time (let's not even talk about electrical infrastructure). EVs only exist in wildly expensive virtue signaling status-mobiles. FAIL! I know this is a Hybrid, but it's a Merc., so it will quickly die after the warranty. Show me a practical EV for the masses and I'll listen. At this time, Hybrids are about the way to go for most needing basic transportation.