BMW profits from flexible workforce solution

One of the challenges to sustainability is for European companies to retain production and job security in “old” Europe. Already tens of thousands of big-company manufacturing jobs are migrating to the ten new member states.

The question: how can we retain manufacturing in major EU companies when wages are lower and skills are more or less on par in new member states, Asia, the Far East?

Maybe part of the answer can be seen at BMW. A recent article in Newsweek (link) says that way back in 1950, facing a takeover from arch rival Daimler, workers opted for flexible workweeks.

Today, workers put in overtime as needed and take it out as time off when production slows. And it pays off. BMW’s profit margins are at the industry leading edge. Whilst rivals seek to locate in the east to take advantage of cheaper labour, BMW is opening a 1 Billion Euro plant in Leipzig.

IFTSP says yet again, simple social inventions like flexible working hours promote sustainability

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