Scania to save jobs in Sweden with 4-day work week

Scania to save jobs in Sweden with 4-day work week
Truckmaker Scania announced on Friday plans to implement a 4-day week in June for its 12,000 workers in Sweden in an effort to avoid redundancies as the economic crisis continues to take its toll on truck sales.

Scania said it had reached an agreement with unions to refrain from lay-offs for six months in exchange for the 4-day week and a 10 percent pay cut for employees across the board.

“I welcome the decision of our employees to help out the company in these difficult times. Their willingness to make personal sacrifices shows great support for the company’s strategy to deal with the very sharp decline in market demand without further employee cutbacks,” Scania chief executive Leif Östling said in a statement.

Scania has already introduced various forms of working hour reductions for more than 2,000 employees in the Netherlands, France, Germany and elsewhere.

It has also laid off 2,000 workers on temporary contracts since the start of the global economic downturn but unlike Swedish rival Volvo it has not laid off any permanent staff.

The Volvo Group has laid off 20,000 workers across all of its divisions, including its trucks unit, but Scania has refused to hand out pink slips and has instead placed superfluous workers on retraining schemes as dwindling sales have led to production cuts.

In the first quarter, Scania’s sales dropped 28 percent and deliveries fell 41 percent.

Scania employs 35,000 people worldwide while Volvo has 100,000.

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