Exclusive-Volkswagen mediation committee to discuss future of CEO Diess – sources

HAMBURG (Reuters) -The mediation committee of Volkswagen’s supervisory board plans to discuss the future of CEO Herbert Diess, three people familiar with the matter said, a week after a long-standing conflict with labour representatives flared up again.

The planned meeting comes in response to tensions between management and Volkswagen’s works council after sources said that Diess told a supervisory board meeting in September that 30,000 jobs were at risk as part of the carmaker’s transition to electric vehicles.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, could not confirm when the meeting would take place.

Spokespeople for Diess, Volkswagen’s supervisory board and Porsche SE, Volkswagen’s largest shareholder, all declined to comment.

Shares in Volkswagen extended losses after the news to trade 3.5% lower.

The most recent escalation underscores the fragile balance of power at the world’s second-largest carmaker, pitting Diess’ ambition to make Volkswagen future-proof vis-à-vis Tesla against Germany’s influential trade unions.

In a bid to defuse the spat, Diess last week cancelled a trip to meet U.S. investors to instead take part in a staff meeting scheduled for Nov. 4.

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz Writing by Christoph SteitzEditing by Mark Potter)

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