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Management, UGT and CCOO trade unions today signed SEAT's XVII Social Agreement, which features significant innovations concerning employment flexibility and a new work organisation and labour relations concept. The result is a giant step in the construction process of "the new SEAT", led by the development and marketing of the Altea model.
SEAT president Dr. Andreas Schleef praised both sides' negotiating skills, which according to the spirit of the new SEAT, made it possible to agree on aspects that "prove that the innovative style that identifies the brand applies only to technology, but extends to the social and labour spheres as well".
During the ceremony, attended by the Catalan Generalitat's Industry and Labour councillor Josep Maria Rañé and the general secretaries of UGT and CCOO Metalworkers' Federation of Catalonia Manuel Gallardo and Vicenç Rocosa, Dr. Schleef underlined that this agreement is the basis of the construction of a new SEAT.
He also referred to the measures for flexibility that "will empower us to face a market as competitive and changing as the automotive market".
One of the company's main objectives is to assure competitiveness and employment stability through work organisation and flexible plans such as an "hour account".
Depending on market demands, employees can work more hours (employee account) or fewer (company account), providing a basic flexible tool with internal measures to counteract demand, thus avoiding past methods that implied an elevated social cost.
Management and unions also agreed to implement a new work organisation based on the training of about 1,000 self-managed teams with previously established targets geared to increase productivity, quality and employees' working conditions with customer satisfaction in mind.
During the social agreement's five-year duration (2004-2008), pay rises will be applied with periodic revisions, subject to a safeguard clause depending on the company's financial results.
The agreement was signed today y SEAT president Dr. Andreas Schleef, Human Resources and Production vice-presidents Ramón Paredes and Wolfram Thomas, and SEAT's UGT and CCOO general secretaries Matías Carnero and Manuel Gálvez.
 
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