Webasto plans to get rid of the time clock

Stockdorf. Workers at roof and air conditioning systems supplier Webasto will stop punching time clocks and will no longer receive overtime payments under a new management plan.

Webasto boss Franz-Josef Kortuem plans to replace the traditional Vario-working time model with a "trust based working-time model." Working times will no longer be recorded and Kortuem appeals to his employees' own authority to get the work done.

He acknowledges the downside: "The result will be that employees will work more without being paid for overtime," said Kortuem. Although he expects that some employees might hand in their notice if the model should go through he still believes in his employees' loyalty. Kortuem expects negotiations with the works council to be finalized by mid-September. The new working time model is supposed to be introduced in early 2004.

The reason for abandoning overtime is pricing pressures that OEMs continue to place suppliers, according to Kortuem. The trust based working-time model is a way to achieve the necessary increase in productivity. On top of that the company is reconsidering plans for investing s in its worldwide plants such as the planned development center in Gilching.

The company's turnover in the first half of 2003 was approximately 650 million euros, about 5 percent more than in the same period of the previous year. The chief executive officer expects to achieve a total turnover of 1.3 billion euros in 2003, compared to 1.28 billion euros in 2002. Kortuem: "We hope to achieve last year's level of return on capital of 2.4 percent."

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