(Ludwigshafen, Germany) to cut workers’ hours at some of its facilities, including approximately 1500 employees at BASF Coatings’ site in Münster, Germany, and for 180 employees in Schwarzheide, Germany. Working hours also were reduced for about 150 employees at two smaller coatings sites in Italy. BASF says it has not ruled out the introduction of short-time working at further sites. “The situation remains tough and difficult to predict. We do not expect the economic environment to improve in the coming months,” said BASF chairman Jürgen Hambrecht. The decline in business was greater than expected in November and will negatively impact earnings, according to BASF.
The supplier in mid-November already had reduced capacity utilization at many of its plants. The capacity utilization rate within the BASF Group is currently less than 75%. The company also had announced some plant closures in North America and Asia. Germany’s federal government has pledged to help employees forced to work fewer hours by in part compensating those workers for the difference between their reduced paychecks and their normal fulltime pay.—[email protected]