4-day week, in the Audi Vw group divides: Lamborghini takes the lead and Ducati fails

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What is valid in Sant’Agata Bolognese is not valid in Borgo Panigale. Even if the territory is the same, the sector and the group to which the companies, Audi Volkswagen, belong too. How it happens in the case of Lamborghini and Ducati. The supercar manufacturer is unique, as is its agreement for the renewal of the supplement which introduces a 4-day week for workers, with a reduction that could reach 31 days of work per year, partly covered by the company, partly by workers with paid leave. For the same productivity. A few dozen kilometers from the site where the ultra-luxury supercars are released, another negotiation is underway to renew the company supplement, again within the Audi VW group, but the mood is not the same. And it triggers the back and forth of clarification between CEOs.

Ducati’s vision

At the presentation of the party for the victories achieved in the MotoGP, WorldSBK and WorldSPP World Championships with ‘Campioni in Festa’, which will be held on 15 December at the Unipol Arena and will be open to all fans, the CEO of Ducati, Claudio Domenicali , told a very different vision of organizational innovation, concluding: «I don’t think we will absolutely go in the same direction» as Lamborghini and «I believe, on the contrary, that it is the wrong path which generates a reduction in competitiveness».

The risk of losing competitiveness

Despite belonging to the same group and operating in the same territory, Lamborghini and Ducati are very different companies. Domenicali explains in fact that «when the brands are boutiques that make extraordinary luxury objects like Lamborghini, perhaps they can afford it but I believe that if the entire production area went in that direction it would be a problem for the workers, creating a loss of competitiveness and a reduction of jobs”.

The new organization and labor costs that rise by 20%

Alongside organizational innovation and the need to guarantee a better work-life balance, there is certainly an issue of costs and productivity. According to Domenicali’s estimates, operations such as the one developed by Lamborghini would cause labor costs to rise by up to 20% and risk encouraging the desertification of the production system, in particular in the automotive sector, a sector grappling with a major transformation due to electric mobility. Thus, for the negotiation for the renewal of Ducati’s supplement, the main chapters are still under discussion, where the short week will not find space. The renewal, says Domenicali, “is very challenging”, also because 2023 was a year in which employee salaries were “a significant increase due to the contract (Federmeccanica-Assistal collective bargaining agreement, ed.) in July and they will have another for the supplement and we believe it is balanced.”

Winkelmann: «It’s organizational flexibility»

The chairman and CEO of Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann, in light of what has emerged, states that the short week summary «is misleading and improperly used because it is not formally a short week. The agreement goes much deeper and is part of a search for flexibility that increases the well-being and satisfaction of our employees, improving efficiency.” With the agreement, Winkelmann is keen to underline, «productivity and competitiveness will remain at least at the same level, but with different time management using longer shifts or remodulating individual permits. Essentially the intent is to maintain the same number of hours worked by spending less time within the company.” Precisely for these reasons «summarizing everything with the expression short week is wrong. We would like to clarify this because we do not want the agreement, which has many truly innovative aspects within it, to be implemented incorrectly, also in light of the commitment made to define it, which involved a whole year’s work”.

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