Co-determination at Audi
Co-determination is the democratic participation and co-decision making of employees in an enterprise. As a fair social partner, cooperation between company management and the Works Council plays a key role for Audi. Constructive teamwork between employees and corporate management is a key foundation stone for the economic success of Audi and, with it, job security. Our workforce is actively involved in the development of our company.
In the interest of the employees, the employees’ elected representatives monitor compliance with valid laws and guidelines as well as collective bargaining agreements and company agreements. The German Works Constitution Act gives the Works Council the right to co-determination or participation in social, HR and economic affairs. In addition to job security, the Works Council at Audi seeks to maintain the company’s profitability and ensure its readiness for the future. Our flexible production system, for example, enables Audi to respond to difficult economic conditions and thereby secure jobs. To this end, the Works Council and company management work together closely each month to coordinate optimum production procedures.
The Works Council furthermore actively supports training and advancement of members of the workforce. In addition to the Committee for Vocational Training and Concept Development, there is an Ideas Commission at the level of the General Works Council which operates in tandem with the Audi Ideas Programme.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the Audi Ideas Programme in 2014, the company revealed its impressive track record: In two decades, a total of 838,070 suggestions for improvement were submitted. Thanks to the 420,585 proposals that were put into practice, AUDI AG has been able to achieve cost savings amounting to around 780 million euros since the programme’s inception. Ideas that are implemented are rewarded with bonus payments of up to 70,000 euros – depending on the savings potential.
In 2014, the Audi Ideas Programme Award was presented for the second time. Employees were able to submit ideas in three categories: Sustainability and environmental protection, occupational health and safety as well as ideas from apprentices.
The Audi sites worldwide and the subsidiaries have representatives elected by the employees. All European site representatives of the Volkswagen Group are organised in the European Group Works Council (EKBR) and together with all other international site Works Council members in the Global Group Works Council of Volkswagen (WKBR). To promote better international cooperation among all European sites and subsidiaries, the Audi Europe Committee was founded as a networking body within the European Group Works Council structure.
56 employees represent the interests of their colleagues at the Ingolstadt site, 41 in Neckarsulm. Of this number, 49 in Ingolstadt and 33 in Neckarsulm are from IG Metall. All sites have both representatives for the disabled as well as for young people and apprentices. The General Works Council of AUDI AG has 17 committees and commissions which address topics such as demographics, competence development and industrial safety/occupational health.
- Expansion of the guarantee of employment initially in effect until 2014 to the end of 2018;
- Stipulating production capacities at the two German plants;
- Permanent hiring of apprentices, students from the cooperative universities as well as participants in the StEP (Study and Experience in Practice) programme after successful completion of their qualifications;
- Payment of an employee profit share as well as the agreed Audi profit share (AEB) for pay-scale employees of AUDI AG, dependent on the operating profit of the Audi Group;
- Taking on workers on temporary contracts as permanent members of the workforce at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm sites.
In addition, the employee representatives negotiated the revision of partial retirement arrangements with the company and supported a series of initiatives such as the introduction of a job ticket for local public transportation, the first Audi Volunteer Day, flexible child care for better compatibility of family and working life as well as various donation campaigns.