VW's Union Boss Bernd Osterloh Gets Seat on Porsche Council
Porsche announced at its annual meeting held on January 30th that it intends to increase its participation in the former rival company to up to 75 percent during this year, as both companies are expected to grow more and more financially dependent. After that happens, Porsche will seek to takeover full control of VW's cash flows, by completing a profit transfer agreement.
“If Porsche gets a domination agreement then all the important decisions will be made in Zuffenhausen,” Osterloh told a German news agency quoted by Autonews. The union chief fears that VW jobs will be at risk if key decisions about future investments are made by Porsche's board.
It is unclear if the new appointment will make any difference in the larger picture. “By being a member of the presidium, Osterloh strengthened his power at Porsche because he will be involved in important decisions right from the beginning,” Frank Schwope, auto analyst at Nord/LB bank in Germany, was quoted as saying by Autonews.
On the other hand, Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen says that “Osterloh lost power because he is not stronger than Porsche’s union head Uwe Hück.” Osterloh is the chief of Volkswagen's group union, a body that comprises of 360,000 workers. The VW union dwarfs the 12,000 workforce Porsche currently employs.