After two waves of job cuts last year, the German service chain Auto-Teile-Unger (ATU) has again announced layoffs.
More than 900 employees will lose their jobs, according to IG Metall, the German metalworkers union.
ATUs management has informed the business committee of the general works council that 1.5 positions per branch are being eliminated, Stephen Maier, an IG Metall secretary, told Automobilwoche.
ATU now has a network of about 630 branches. An ATU spokesman said the number of layoffs will roughly reach 650 workers, not counting part-time employees.
The spokesman did not rule out store closings this year. But he said there are no plans for any at this time.
Employees were caught by surprise. As late as last November, ATU CEO Michael Kern told Automobilwoche that at present no job reductions are planned for 2009.
IG Metalls Maier fears there will be more layoffs. When you weaken the stores by reducing staff, you cannot meet the sales targets anymore, he said.
He added that a new wave of redundancies is likely this summer.