Saab CEO and sole director, Victor Muller, will meet Wednesday with representatives of the four unions at its factory in Trollhättan in western Sweden, who are seeking answers as to how the company will ensure that wages are paid.
In both June and July were wage payments were delayed and in only two weeks August salaries are due, preceded by the payment of taxes and payroll charges.
A further issue on the agenda is when factory lines will begin rolling again, and when suppliers will receive their outstanding cash.
“The main issue is the short-term funding,” said Per Bränneby, shop steward for the Association of University Graduates/Graduate Engineers, one of the groups set to be included in the meeting with trade union colleagues from the metalworker’s union IF Metall, Unionen and Ledarna.
Aside from Muller, personnel director Johan Formgren is expected to attend.
Almost three months have passed since Muller held a big meeting of all employees in which he apologized and promised that they would not have to be involved in further turmoil.
But since then if anything, matters have got worse.
Money received as advance payments from China, new share issues and loans have not convinced their suppliers to restart deliveries. The Trollhättan plant has now been idle for over four months and according to Saab, it will restart on August 29th at the earliest.
The Swedish Enforcement Authority has threatened to instigate recovery proceedings next week to seek payment for unpaid debts to suppliers.
Per Bränneby however remains optimistic about the future.
“We know they’re working really hard on a solution and I have confidence that it will resolve itself,” he said.
He was reluctant to give his assessment of how Muller has managed Saab, but he noted that Muller’s dual roles as both CEO and chairman are not good in the long run.
“He is an entrepreneur and an ideas man, but I hope we can find a new CEO,” says Per Bränneby.