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Case of Bernd Osterloh at VW: High salaries for works councils on the brink


Ex-VW works council boss Bernd Osterloh received almost 750,000 euros in a peak year. Such high remuneration could no longer be allowed in the future. According to SPIEGEL information, this emerges from a verdict.

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Ex-VW works council chief Bernd Osterloh: Leading employee representatives in corporations may be threatened with downgrading to the level of a normal factory worker

Photo: Fabian Bimmer/ REUTERS

A legal assessment by the Regional Court of Braunschweig could shake the usual remuneration of leading works councils in Germany.

The court has doubts that works council members at VW were paid appropriately.

According to SPIEGEL information, this emerges from the justification for a judgment from September 2021, the content of which has now been leaked.

In it, former VW HR directors were acquitted of allegations of breach of trust because of allegedly excessive works council salaries.

However, the court agreed with the position of the public prosecutor's office, according to which long-standing works council members should not be paid on an equal footing with their negotiating partners on the company side.

The salary development must be based on colleagues from the original job, not on other above-average qualified comparison persons.

At the center of the process was ex-works council boss Bernd Osterloh, who, according to the public prosecutor, should not have earned almost 750,000 euros in a peak year, but only around 50,000 euros.

The case is now with the Federal Court of Justice (BGH).

If the assessment is confirmed, leading works councils in corporations are likely to be downgraded to the level of a normal factory worker.

"That would be a huge blow to co-determination in Germany," say Volkswagen employee representatives, "highly qualified personnel will hardly be willing to run for top positions on the works council." a higher works council remuneration.

If the BGH decides otherwise, a joint senate would have to come to a final decision.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-08-04

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