Volkswagen Chattanooga enacted temporary emergency furloughs of its production and maintenance workforce on April 11. These employees had been unable to work following the factory’s production suspension, which started March 21.
Until April 11, these workers were receiving full pay and benefits.
The furlough is expected to last no more than four weeks. During this time, Volkswagen will continue to provide health care benefits and coverage of premiums, paying both employer and employee contributions.
In addition, each employee will still receive their first quarter bonuses, as well as their March monthly bonuses.
“Our primary objective is to protect the financial health of Volkswagen for the benefit of our team as we address the emerging and ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak on our industry,” said Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga.
“Right now, we have limited visibility on when we will be able to resume production, but we are committed to doing everything we can to preserve jobs. During this time, we will be intensely focused on preparing to reopen in a responsible way, ensuring our team has the opportunity to return to work safely and as quickly as practicable.”
During the furlough, employees will be eligible to received unemployment benefits. All furloughed employees will remain Volkswagen employees through the duration of the furlough period and upon their return to work, employees will retain their original dates of hire and accrued paid time off.
Volkswagen Chattanooga began production in 2011 and currently assembles the midsize sedan Passat and Atlas SUV. The company employs approximately 3,800 team members at the Chattanooga facility.
In 2019, Volkswagen announced an $800 million investment and expansion to begin manufacturing electric vehicles at the Tennessee facility.