A recent study on temp work in the German automobile industry reveals that the companies in this sector try to hide the fact that they employ temp-workers.
Temp-work does not appear in most of the companies annual economic reports, although 86 per cent of automobile companies make use of it. Apart from temporary contracts (normally limited to half a year), in the car sector temp work is the only other mode of hiring new people.
In absolute numbers about 60,000 temp workers are employed. About 17 per cent of all workers in production are hired through temp agencies, a much higher ratio than in any other sector. The study "Flexibilität durch Zeitarbeit als Wettbewerbsfaktor in der Automobilindustrie" (flexibility achieved through temp work as a competitive factor in the automobile industry)was undertaken with the support of the temp agency Randstad, which alone employs 7,000 workers in the German car industry.
Temp work is not the only option for hire-and-fire: recently DaimlerCrysler in Stuttgart had to face the problem of having too little staff. After months of downsizing they had to hire new people, they opted for short term contracts rather than hiring through temp agencies. The management was looking for 1,500 people willing to sign a three month contract. Despite the comparatively high wages they seemed to have had problems finding (the right) people within a short period of time.
prol-position news #6 | 7/2006