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Austrian Automotive Summit: Green Light for Shorter Working Hours



January 23, 2009

New Measures to Help Austrian Industry

At the Austrian “Automotive Summit”, which was held on January 8th, 2009 at the Federal Chancellery in Vienna, the Austrian Federal Government, unions, as well as automotive manufacturers, all agreed on extending shorter working hours for an additional 18 months.
In addition, additional research funding for innovative companies was also authorized as was funding for training of current, as well as laid-off workers.

These measures will apply to all types of companies which have been adversely affected by the economic crisis, not just automotive companies

Automotive companies, however, have been some of the most severely impacted by the economic slump. Austria’s domestic car component suppliers, dealers and workshops employ over 170,000 workers with an output of over 23 billion Euros and represent roughly 10% of Austria’s manufacturing industry.

Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann along with Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister Josef Pröll, who both hosted the summit, stressed that because of its importance, it is vital that the automotive receive continued support.

Companies opting to put employees on short-time (instead of eliminating jobs) will be able to obtain additional funding from the Labor Market Service (AMS) for six months and, in some cases, for one year.

In addition, the Austrian government has also pledged 33 million Euros for automotive research