BASF SE management and employee representatives have signed a new site agreement for the company's Ludwigshafen site. "Safeguarding the future through flexibility and operational partnership," is the new agreement that applies to approximately 33,000 BASF SE employees at the site for the period from the beginning of 2011 to end of 2015. It replaces the site agreement from end of 2004 which expires at the end of 2010. ‘A no-redundancy pledge’ is a key element of the agreement. Another is the company's promise to spend €9 to 10 bln on measures to safeguard the site's future through to the end of 2015. Approximately two-thirds of the amount will be used on investment, modernization and maintenance to keep the Ludwigshafen site performing at its best in terms of technology and organization and thus strengthening core operations. The investment thus remains at the high level of the past years. Research and development expenditure will also be at the level of previous years and will account for more than one-third of the total amount. Ludwigshafen will remain the central platform for global research and development at BASF. In a bid to meet the challenges posed by increasingly unpredictable fluctuations in market demand, management and employee representatives have agreed on a package of measures to enhance the flexibility of HR systems in the site agreement.
The Site Agreement highlights continuation of "flexible personnel deployment" as a key flexibilization element. During the economic crisis up to 600 employees from plants with low capacity utilization were deployed for a temporary period in other plants where there was more work to be done. Fluctuations in production capacity utilization could thus be better offset. Both sides have also agreed to a possible increase in the proportion of temporary staff to enhance flexibility even further. Another key element of the site agreement is a joint commitment toward safeguarding employment through training, personnel development and qualification, and the Generations@Work program to address demographic change.