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Allianz confirms compromise on German job cuts


MUNICH—The representatives of workers at Allianz Deutschland A.G., where thousands of jobs are under threat in a major re-organisation, are claiming "significant" improvement in terms through a compromise agreement with the German company's management.

In a statement on Friday Allianz said that it plans to shed 2,479 full-time jobs by the end of 2007 and further 2,170 full-time jobs by the end of 2008 in addition to the 1,040 full-time jobs already shed by the end of October 2006.

Under German law it must, however, work with the worker's representatives to try and achieve as fair an approach as possible and, as one of Germany's major employers, the group has been under intense media and political scrutiny.

Allianz management and the worker's representatives today published what they call a "joint key-points" paper which calls for extensive provisions to safeguard employment and protect Allianz workers rights.

Under this understanding the company has agreed not to make any compulsory redundancies until the end of 2009. Also, in the course of 2009 the works councils and the management will conduct further talks on measures safeguarding employment (protection against dismissal) until 2012. "From the point of view of the works councils, already in the key points additional elements have been agreed in the employees' interest to ensure the socially balanced implementation of the new structure beyond the Social Plan agreed in April 2006 and the company's voluntary measures," stated Allianz.

"For the company, the agreement on the key points marks a major milestone on the road towards the successful introduction of the new operating model until the end of 2008.

The management and works councils will immediately begin negotiations on partial reconciliations in the service territories.

Both partners intend to conclude these talks by the end of the year and then put them swiftly into practice," it continued.

Norbert Blix, chairman of the expert committee on insurance for the core negotiation group and lead representative for the workers, said: "As works council representatives, we were particularly concerned with securing improved dismissal protection and solutions that safeguard jobs at those sites most severely affected by the reorganization, and on both counts we were able to achieve significant improvements for employees."