In view of Volkswagen's emissions-rigging scandal, it's amazingly tone-deaf and irresponsible that the automaker's top management had to be prodded by unions into accepting a major cut in their bonuses.
People complain that the German unions constantly block company efforts to restructure by protecting uncompetitive jobs and instead forcing management to do splits to find a way to lower costs.
Yet at VW the ones that were most responsible for the problems insisted they get their big bonuses even though the company is in crisis.
Why should unions then feel like helping those who only look to help themselves?
What should have happened was the opposite - executives and senior management should have quickly and willingly taken a significant cut to send a signal to unions that workers now nee to do the same.
It now appears that VW's supervisory board, which is responsible for the pay of the company's management board, will reduce 2015 bonuses by 30 percent. So at the end of the day a decision that is in the best interest of all parties, a decision that helps to promote social harmony at a company where this is badly needed in order to jointly confront the problems, is made against the will of management and at the insistence of unions.
Opponents of Germany's co-determination system known as Mitbestimmung should perhaps be thankful it exists and can force management to make the right choice against their own will.