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VW managers should voluntarily forego bonuses: works council chief

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 17:31

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Volkswagen executives should voluntarily forego their bonuses for moral reasons given the massive engine-rigging scandal, the head of the works council at the embattled German carmaker said in a newspaper interview Tuesday.

[FRANKFURT] Volkswagen executives should voluntarily forego their bonuses for moral reasons given the massive engine-rigging scandal, the head of the works council at the embattled German carmaker said in a newspaper interview Tuesday.

"This is also about morals," Bernd Osterloh told the business daily Handelsblatt.

Nevertheless, he was aware that "waiving the bonuses for ethical reasons is primarily a voluntary matter for the executive board," Mr Osterloh added.

Public debate is currently raging in Germany over whether top executives at Volkswagen should be paid generous bonuses.

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At the centre of the controversy is the question whether VW executives are entitled to the performance-related bonuses for 2015.

The group's chief executive Matthias Mueller had been quick to prescribe belt-tightening to the carmaker's 600,000-strong workforce in the wake of the global scandal that erupted six months ago when it emerged that VW had installed emissions-cheating software into 11 million diesel engines worldwide.

The costs of the scandal are still incalculable but are expected to run into many billions of euros (dollars) as a result of fines and lawsuits.

VW, which is expected to post a loss running into many billions of euros for 2015, could also announce a waiver in the dividend payout to shareholders for the first time since the early 1980s.

Last week, VW announced that its top executives were willing to accept "sharp reductions" in their annual bonuses.

The details will be agreed at a supervisory board on Friday and published in VW's annual report on April 28, the carmaker indicated.

AFP

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