BASF SE is introducing short-time work in the coming months for about 1,000 employees in 20 production plants and associated service units at its site in Ludwigshafen. These measures are necessary mainly at production units for pigments, intermediates, petrochemicals and inorganics. Most of the 1,000 employees will start working short time in June and July; a smaller number will follow in August and September.
As announced in April, BASF has assessed the workload at the production plants at the site in the past few weeks. Based on this assessment and the provisional agreement made with the Works Council in January, discussions with the responsible employee representatives were held to determine where, to what extent and which form of short-time work should be introduced.
The number of hours worked will be reduced by between 20 to 100 percent and for up to four months according to the circumstances at the individual plants. Irrespective of the reduction in working hours, employees will receive a net wage of approximately 90 percent as a result of short-time work compensation provided by the German government as well as a payment from the company under the terms of the collective wage agreement for the chemical industry. Rapid reintroduction of normal working hours is possible at any time, should demand for BASF products pick up.
"Capacity utilization rates at many plants have remained very low since the beginning of the year, and we do not expect any improvement over the summer months," said Dr. Harald Schwager, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE responsible for Human Resources and head of the company's Ludwigshafen site. "Short-time work is an appropriate measure to temporarily bridge the decline in orders. We are also continuing to use the advantages offered by our Verbund and are temporarily transferring employees to other units or using flexible time to respond to the decline in work volume. Without these measures, short-time work would have already been introduced for thousands of BASF employees in Ludwigshafen."
As already communicated, the company is also examining further possible measures in the event that business does not improve in the second half of the year. Currently, 5,200 employees from BASF Group companies at 19 sites in Europe are already working short time (including former Ciba sites.)