BERLIN -- Volkswagen's drive to improve accountability has made no progress, the automaker's top labor representative said.
Almost two-thirds of staff see "no improvement" in VW's corporate culture nearly two and a half years after the diesel emissions fraud was revealed, works council chief Bernd Osterloh said Thursday.
Osterloh cited results of a survey of more than 51,000 workers conducted in December at German plants.
VW's attempt to become more transparent and improve troubleshooting is regarded by investors as a key part of the automaker's ability to regain trust and avoid future scandals.
VW employee discontent with management could prompt labor leaders to adopt a tougher stance in dealings with top executives.
"Culture change for us remains a permanent work site," Osterloh said Thursday in comments released on VW's internal communications network.
VW human resources boss Karlheinz Blessing, who was commissioned to lead the culture change, said the transformation needs more broad-based support to succeed.
"We have been saying all along that a culture change cannot be implemented over the short term and takes time and is also not the work of an individual or of individual participants," he said in a separate interview published internally. "All stakeholders are urged to bring about this culture change."
Given the continued negative news flow about the automaker, with the latest revelations of VW-sponsored diesel fume tests involving monkeys and humans and prosecutors' raids on luxury brand Audi, it's no surprise that sentiment among staff is declining, Blessing said.
"With the negative headlines that keep surprising us, it would be remarkable if sentiment was not affected," he said. "We can only apologize to staff for what they have to put up with, even though we are not the originator of these headlines."
Separately, Osterloh, who is seeking re-election as works council chairman next month, said workers were critical of internal communication by management and expressed concerns about job safety and retirement conditions.