Leverkusen, Germany -- Bayer MaterialScience is looking at a range of options to cut costs in its business, including a ten-percent pay cut for the same hours worked, for production workers in Germany. A spokesperson for the raw materials supplier confirmed that this was one of the options BMS is looking at.
The pay reduction "is one option to tackle the situation, but it is only one of several potential measures," the spokesperson said, in a written statement for Urethanes Technology International. These options are to be discussed by BMS management and the trade unions soon, and no decision has been reached yet, he added.
Recent German press reports have indicated that the supplier of polyurethane raw materials and polycarbonate is also assessing the options for short-time working at its sites in Dormagen, Krefeld-Uerdingen und Brunsbüttel.
In early December, Peter Vanacker, head of the Polyurethanes Business Unit at BMS, told Urethanes Technology International that the business had taken "immediate measures," in response to, "a significant drop in demand, particularly in the automotive and construction sectors ... [which] clearly has an impact on our industry."
BMS had reduced capacity utilisation and introduced a strict cost management programme, Vanacker added. Bayer is also "streamlining cost structures by a global optimisation programme - introduced in 2007. It is focussing on strengthening, "cost leadership," regardless of the market situation, the polyurethanes chief indicated.
Demand in Bayer's other two businesses - crop protection and healthcare - has been less hard hit by the global economic crisis, since they are far less dependent on consumer spending.
In Germany, BMS makes MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) at Brunsbüttel and Krefeld-Uerdingen, and TDI (toluene diisocyanate) at Dormagen and Brunsbüttel.