German autoworkers score with soccer time off

/ Source: The Associated Press

So passionate about Germany’s national team are autoworkers with some of the country’s best known car companies, that management and unions have agreed to let those on the second shift stay home — or at the beer garden — to watch the semifinal against Italy.

DaimlerChrysler AG said Monday that the 10,000 people who work on the late shift can have the night off to catch the 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT) kick off with Italy on Tuesday in Dortmund.

“The soccer passion of the workers is, like that of the whole country, limitless,” the workers council for DaimlerChrysler said in a statement, adding that the production time would be made up later in July.

Other car makers are doing the same, including Porsche AG, which is giving 1,200 workers the night off as well as BMW AG, which is letting 10,000 workers skip their shift in Dingolfing to see the match.

Production, however, is slated to resume the next day, the companies said.