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April 11, 1988

IBM DEUTSCHLAND WINS EXEMPTION FROM LABOUR LAWS

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Deutschland, which had threatened to move chip production out of West Germany over the issue, has won exemption from the state government of Baden-Wurttemberg from labour laws that ban Sunday working in the Federal Republic to operate its 1M-bit memory chip lines at Sindelfingen seven days a week: the company still has to overcome opposition from the IG Metall metalworkers’ union, which sees the exemption as the thin end of the wedge; IBM points out that it has to start shut-down procedures on Friday, and that when it starts again on Monday the ovens take five or six hours to reach optimum temperature; as a result reject rates are much higher on Monday, and at present, the proportion of output, 20% to 30%, that has to be disposed of as scrap metal, is in excess of the maxima for waste metal set by the state’s environmental laws; the concession allows IBM to operate on Sunday for a month, comparing reject rates and scrap with those for last month.

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