SAAB WATCH 2011 : Crunch Time

Since signing a tentative agreement with Chinese investors to help restructure and ultimately resurrect the zombified, never-say-dead automotive manufacturer, Saab has been quiet.  Even after General Motors announced they would not support Saab with supplies if the takeover was ratified, Saab remained quiet.  When the deadline on their agreement with Youngman and Pang Da expired, Saab remained quiet.  After all the silence and the shadowed games of musical chairs, the car company may not be able to be mute much longer.  It was reported by today that Saab has a deadline to pay owed salaries and the deadline is tomorrow.

According to the article, the due date for wage settlements for white collar union employees and management is tomorrow (29th).  The owed wages for IF Metall, the blue collar union, was due last Friday.  Saab has not paid into any of them thus far.  While this makes sense, seeing as Saab is currently penniless, they have claimed that the Chinese investors were supposed to pay salaries by today.  Even still, IF Metall will meet at Saab Headquarters in Trollhattan this afternoon.

The more pressing concern for Saab is that failure to at least show the signs that they are in the process of paying their 4000+ work force. Failure to at least have money in the bank account designated for paying the wages could lead to an even bigger delemma.  According to IF Metall legal advisor Darko Davidovic, “if they don’t have the money for salaries, they don’t have the money for anything.”  Apparently, the courts may see it that way as well.  If no money is moved or paid out in the next two to three days, the issue could leave the labor union bodies’ hands and carry over to the administrator of Saab’s bankruptcy protection.  This means that that Guy Lofalk, the administrator in question, could file to have Saab’s court approved reconstruction status lifted.  This move would leave Saab unprotected against a slew of rabid creditors and employees all looking to get the money they were entitled to months ago.

With the due date for the white collar union and management salaries due tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if Saab or the Chinese will come through with the cash.  With the pressure on and the potential breakdown of everything looming on the backburner, we can only play the waiting game on this Saab circus.  Check in with us later in the week to learn more as it develops.

Tyler Baker; OSM Writer

( Source : )

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