Siemens sets up €35 million fund to aid BenQ Mobile employees
Munich, Oct 2, 2006 - Siemens has set up a €35 million fund for the employees of BenQ mobile in Germany. The company’s Managing Board is also waiving its approved salary increase for one year to contribute €5 million to the fund, which will provide financial support and pay for employee education and retraining. “If BenQ puts its people on the street, we’ll take vigorous action to help them,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, President and CEO of Siemens AG. In addition, BenQ Mobile employees will be treated as internal applicants for the more than 2,000 current job openings at Siemens in Germany and actively assisted in finding new jobs.
“Our overall aim is to help protect the employees of BenQ Mobile in Germany from the immediate impact of losing their jobs. We consider the actions of BenQ reprehensible, and we’re going to do everything we can to help the people affected,” said Kleinfeld.
The justification for the salary increase approved by the Supervisory Board was explained once again in detail by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board a few days ago. In view of the current situation, the Managing Board has decided to contribute the amount of the increase to the BenQ employee fund.
Siemens has been deeply disturbed by the news of the threatened insolvency of BenQ Mobile in Germany. The company’s previous decision to sell its mobile phone activities to BenQ was the solution with the greatest employee benefits. From a strictly business point of view, there were considerably more attractive options at the time. To have closed the business would have been substantially cheaper. The Taiwanese company assured Siemens of its intentions to operate and expand the German locations in the future and presented a credible plan for accomplishing this. Siemens contributed some 600 patent families, allowed BenQ to use its brand name for five years and provided substantial financial support for a successful launch.
It now appears that BenQ did not carry out its intentions with the seriousness with which these were represented to Siemens. Kleinfeld: “The suggestion that we have been prepared to accept the bankruptcy of BenQ Mobile in Germany is pure slander.”
About Siemens: Siemens (Berlin and Munich) is a global powerhouse in electrical engineering and electronics. The company has around 461,000 employees working to develop and manufacture products, design and install complex systems and projects, and tailor a wide range of services for individual requirements. Siemens provides innovative technologies and comprehensive know-how to benefit customers in 190 countries. Founded more than 155 years ago, the company focuses on the areas of Information and Communications, Automation and Control, Power, Transportation, Medical, and Lighting. In fiscal 2005 (ended September 30), Siemens had sales from continuing operations of €75.4 billion and net income of €3.058 billion. Further information is available on the Internet at: www.siemens.com.
Reference number: AXX 200610.58 e
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