BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) will have to place all projects and investments under review, the carmaker’s top labor representative said on Tuesday, as the embattled German group grapples with the fallout of its diesel emissions scandal.
“We will need to call into question with great resolve everything that is not economical,” Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council told more than 20,000 workers at a staff gathering in Wolfsburg, Germany.
“Together we will convince the financial markets of Volkswagen’s strength,” Osterloh said, calling for workers and management to rally together to overcome the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history.
Volkswagen is under huge pressure to get to grips with the scandal which has wiped more than a third off its share price, forced out its long-time CEO and rocked both the auto industry and German establishment.
Europe’s biggest car maker has admitted cheating in diesel emissions tests on around 11 million diesel vehicles.
A letter sent to German lawmakers and seen by Reuters on Tuesday said that 8 million diesel vehicles in the European Union were fitted with software capable of cheating vehicle emissions tests.
The scandal is not yet having consequences for jobs at VW, which employs 60,000 people at its main factory, but will impact earnings at the core autos division as well as bonus payments to workers, Osterloh said.
However, he added that they would take a close look at the management board’s bonuses and said workers would not “foot the bill for wrongdoings of a group of managers”.
Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Additional reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Maria Sheahan