BRATISLAVA -- Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Wednesday he welcomed plans by Opel, the German unit of carmaker General Motors to cut the working week to save jobs.
"Any way of organizing working hours which avoids lay-offs and leads to new hiring is progress," Schroeder told journalists on a visit to the Slovakian capital Bratislava.
Schroeder noted that Volkswagen, on whose supervisory board he used to sit, has a good model of a 30-hour working week.
"If others come to a similar imaginative way of organizing working time, we can only welcome that," he said.
Sources at Opel, which is in the middle of a turnaround plan aimed at returning it to profit, said on Tuesday that the firm was considering reducing its working week to 30 hours in a bid to cut costs and secure jobs. The firm would not give details.
Deutsche Telekom said on Tuesday it would propose cutting weekly work hours to 34 from 38 and reducing wages by the same proportion for its 100,000 German employees in next year's wage talks, to avoid cutting 10,000 jobs.