The measure has been negotiated together with the employee representatives and applies to all salary bands, except for trainees and nursing and pregnant employees.
Generally speaking it involves a limited increase in working hours from 40 to 43 hours per week for employees. As a show of solidarity, employees with a management contract will see their weekly working hours increase by 3 to 45 hours per week, and they will take two "bridge days" as holiday days. Around 300 employees at RUAG Ammotec produce small-calibre ammunition at the Thun site, and approximately 70% of annual production is exported.
It has not been possible so far to offset the competitive disadvantage with process optimizations, renegotiations with suppliers, cost-savings or other measures. Aside from the new weekly working time, all other staff conditions such as holiday entitlement, salary and regulations remain unchanged. If the division's EBIT exceeds the 2015 budget, employees who record their working time will receive the surplus in the form of a premium of up to max. 50% of their individual additional working hours.
The RUAG technology group introduced additional working hours on 1 May 2015 at RUAG Environment (60 employees), which specializes in the recycling of electrical and household appliances, and in certain parts of the RUAG Defence division (590 employees). As the order volume at RUAG Ammotec in Thun has since increased, the additional working hours will be an effective step for this division to make its productivity competitive in the international arena.
The planned additional working hours are based on Art. 57 para. 4 of the collective employment contract of the Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Industry. This allows companies to use various measures to regain their competitiveness when this has been harmed by extraordinary situations such as major exchange rate fluctuations.