WOLFSBURG -- Volkswagen Group's works council chief Bernd Osterloh said workers and managers alike should be paid a bonus, flatly rejecting the idea that the carmaker's German workforce is inefficient and paid too much.
"We, as the workforce, have always made it clear: either bonuses for nobody, or bonuses for everybody," Osterloh said at a gathering of VW staff at the company's factory in Wolfsburg, Germany today.
VW said last month it would pay the 12 current and former members of its management board 63.24 million euros ($71.8 million) for 2015, but said it was withholding part of their bonus payments and will award them at a later date if certain performance criteria are fulfilled, including a recovery of Volkswagen's share price.
Osterloh said workers rejected demands by management to make extra concessions to get a bonus, since any such payment should be compensation for work already done last year, rather than as a reward for future efforts.
Osterloh also dismissed criticism by VW brand chief Herbert Diess that Volkswagen's German factories were too expensive and unproductive, and took a swipe at hedge fund TCI, which last week said the carmaker was in need of a performance hike.
"We don't need clever advice from hedge funds that have bought preference shares in a cloak and dagger manner. I can tell them, they are heartily welcome to discuss the matter with the works council face to face," Osterloh said.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report