BERLIN (Bloomberg) -- Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks, will end work-hour reductions a month earlier than planned because of stronger demand for its vehicles.
About 96,000 workers will return to regular hours in June, after having hours and pay cut by 8.75 percent since May 2009, the company said.
“Demand for our products is currently developing very positively and global markets are recovering gradually,” CEO Dieter Zetsche said in the statement. “This requires a corresponding adjustment of capacity.”
The work-hour cuts, which were due to expire at the end of June, were part of a package of measures agreed on in April 2009 to reduce Daimler's labor spending by 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion). The manufacturer raised its 2010 forecast for earnings before interest and taxes by 74 percent on April 27 after demand for Mercedes-Benz cars fueled a return to profit in the first quarter.
Daimler still has three factories that will be operating with reduced shifts through June, spokeswoman Nicole Kicherer said. The plants include truck facilities in Kassel and Mannheim, Germany, and a factory in Berlin, which makes car engines and components. Those three factories had a total of 5,300 employees working reduced hours at the end of March, she said.