BMW proposes to increase full-time workers in Germany by 3,200

Article by Anita Panait, on August 2, 2012

BMW has offered to increase its full-time employees in Germany by a net 3,200 people by the end of 2013 in an effort to settle a long-running dispute with its local unions over its employment of temporary workers, two sources told Reuters. According to the sources, BMW had hoped to reach an agreement with its local labor leaders by July 18 and to present the results to employees at a meeting at its Munich plant, but discussions were delayed.

An insider told Reuters that there will still have to be some minor legal details to be resolved, adding that the deal is ready for signing, but some of the works councils typically have to do some last-minute coordination with their local committees. The second source said that the 3,200 number is just a ballpark figure, as the net number of new permanent jobs established at BMW over the next 18 months could still change.

If the company failed to reach an agreement with the unions before the end of the week, it will have to wait until the end of the month due to the start of summer holidays in the Bavaria, where three of its four biggest domestic car manufacturing plants are located.

Last month, BMW confirmed that its new high-performance M6 coupe and convertible models will only ride on Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires when they arrive on the market in the summer of 2012. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport is the product of the combining three technologies -- the Twaron-reinforced belt, the Bi-Compound tread band as well as the Variable Contact Patch 2.0.

The Twaron belt employs a high-density fiber used in aeronautics and protective military gear. Twaron is five times more resistance than steel at same weight. Thanks to its variable tension, the Twaron belt is tighter in the tread area compared to the shoulders. This allows the centrifugal force to be more effectively controlled and pressure to be more evenly distributed.

On the other hand, Bi-Compound technology employs various rubber compounds on the left and right sides of the tread. Developed for race tires initially, the tires feature an outer shoulder that employs an elastomer ensuring excellent endurance during cornering. Meanwhile, its interior has a different elastomer with a special tread design that allows the tire, to break through the water’s surface and adhere to the road irregularities on wet roads.

Meanwhile, the Variable Contact Patch 2.0 allows the tires to change its shape according to its actual driving conditions. Since the patch’s shape is changing even when cornering, the amount of rubber that is in contact with the road remains the same.

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