BASF SE announced that it will introduce short-time work in the coming months for about 1,000 employees in 20 production plants and associated service units at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. These measures are necessary mainly at production units for pigments, intermediates, petrochemicals and inorganics. Currently, 5,200 employees from BASF Group companies at 19 sites in Europe are already working short time (including former Ciba sites). Most of the 1,000 employees will start working short time in June and July; a smaller number will follow in August and September. "Capacity utilization rates at many plants have remained very low since the beginning of the year, and we do not expect any improvement over the summer months," said Dr. Harald Schwager, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE responsible for Human Resources and head of the company's Ludwigshafen site.
BASF will reduce working hours by 20 to 100% for up to four months depending on the circumstances at the individual plants. Irrespective of the reduction in working hours, employees will receive a net wage of approximately 90% as a result of short-time work compensation provided by the German government as well as a payment from the company under the terms of the collective wage agreement for the chemical industry. BASF said it is also examining further possible measures in the event that business does not improve in the second half of the year.