FRANKFURT -- Workers at DaimlerChrysler AG's European bus division will work longer hours in return for job security in a deal that cuts labor costs by $12 million a year, the company said Friday.
The accord clinched on Friday is the latest in a series of pacts designed to boost German companies' competitiveness. The deal at DaimlerChrysler will preserve 3,800 jobs at its EvoBus plant in Ulm/Neu-Ulm through the end of 2008, the company said in a statement.
EvoBus pledged to set up painting and final assembly facilities there for its new Setra NC4 bus and hire 20 percent more trainees under the deal, which starts to get phased in at the beginning of 2005.
The pact curbs paid break time for workers on rotating shifts and introduces 10 bonus-free Saturdays for hourly and salaried employees.
The workweek for the hourly employees at the spare parts business will stretch to 39 hours from 35 while that of salaried staff will go up to 37.5 hours.
After weeks of talks and protests, workers at DaimlerChrysler's German carmaking operations accepted a similar deal last week that will save the company $605 million a year from 2007.
Manufacturing and technology group Siemens recently won an agreement to increase working hours at two German plants without extra pay, a step also used by travel group Thomas Cook to reduce labor costs.