Laura Butcher this first vice president in history Seat. Since last July 1, he has held his post. Head of Person and Organization, a position until then held by Xavier Ros (now at Audi). the butcher carries for a lifetime (since 1999) dedicated to seats and went through different areas of the company (production techniques engineering, product planning, training and development manager and personnel manager), so his knowledge allowed him to know more. negotiation perspective.
He staged the signing of the collective bargaining agreement, which he had to do today, together with the personnel representatives. Acquiring Seat as a company (i.e. Seat and Cupra) until 2026. front body signed last 17 June. On July 1, he signed another contract of his new contract as head of the People and Organization. He did it with a green ballpoint pen that he kept like gold on the fabric. In his first interview as vice president, we explored the dual aspects of engineering and humanism that have made him a key player in the future of the company’s transformation. The piano lover, the music lover, hopes to find the key to directing the future for Seat.
Did they manage to get a good deal?
Definitely. It is the electrification agreement that allows us to address the transformation that is coming in the years to come. It is a socially responsible agreement that guarantees us as a future-proof, sustainable, solid organization. We did this in the context of unprecedented uncertainty. Pandemic, semiconductor crisis, Ukraine war, energy crisis and transportation. It is something to be valued. In this scenario, we provide security, which is the future. We have achieved this thanks to the joint work and active response of trade unions, companies and workers.
Will this deal stabilize the company?
Necessary for this transformation is an agreement that guarantees labor stability and improves the economic conditions of the workforce. This gives the organization flexibility and prepares itself in shape, size and needs to meet the challenges that await it.
Several companies are closing similar deals. Are they considered references?
We mirror the industry. Our agreement is reference. We are aware of this. We wanted to do something that was well-armed and socially responsible, capable of adapting to transformation and receiving the necessary training to prepare ourselves. Because the future that will come is for us and also for the rest.
Has electrification conditioned the bargain?
Electrification is an important element for company and negotiation. We are going to him. This is what is demanded by the industry and society itself and demands greater sustainability. We are on this path and see this transformation as an opportunity to educate and transform people. To adapt to the opportunity of being an organization with its structure, size and future. Robust, agile, profitable and sustainable.
Does the workforce understand the transformation that electrification entails?
We all understand that there is no plan B. Society itself demands it. The electric car is the most sustainable option.
Was there a difficult point in this negotiation?
We were all clear that the goal was to find this transformation. If only we hadn’t risked staying with the current model while everything around you changed. The important thing is for everyone to understand that we are facing a change. From there, once we internalize it, day after day takes you in the direction you set for yourself. Sometimes we draw it more complicated than it is. We would be surprised at this change and how we could deal with it more easily if we saw it in perspective. We’re making big changes almost without realizing it
They closed a deal marked by the electrification and transformation of the company. Is this necessary?
Is it conditional?, no. Our industrial plan is focused on electrification of the brand, plant. It is focused on educating us and transforming our abilities. We are also launching a new brand in the company such as Cupra. They are two different elements.
Many technological changes are coming. Is education necessary?
Every change motivates. Investing in education has always been very important. We are also a reference, a school for apprentices, … a leap is coming and we must all prepare ourselves for electrification. This causes us to seek more technology to build and develop a small cluster of BEVs to manufacture and develop. Electrification, digitization, We can never stop learning. We must all understand it. Otherwise, in such a changing world, there will come a time when we too will be out of date. That Seat has always been on.
Was it the hardest deal?
It is the most important deal in the company’s 70-year history. Because it is what will enable us to tackle transformation. It was tough in the sense that it had to be done in a time of uncertainty that we had never had before. This means we are at a crucial moment for transformation.
Departures to Sagunt
Have you prepared a good exit plan?
The contract carries social responsibility. We have a voluntary social plan under this agreement. Anyone over the age of 61 can choose to benefit from this social plan. Suitable conditions. This is the way to adapt the structure to be sustainable and agile. New opportunities are also emerging for aspirations, such as the battery factory in Sagunt. There are people who want it, yes, I approve. We are also looking for more components for Seat components, working on circular economy projects, maximizing the business volume and quality employment we seek by combining them with social measures.
Will there be more exits by 2025? Electrification requires less personnel…
The agreed plan takes us to 2025 with the organizational structure we need. With this structure that we are closing, we sought a social plan, Sagunt battery factory, Seat Components, circular economy and measures to achieve this. Our plans square with what we planned.
Will workforce flexibility be the key to earning new rewards?
We are constantly working to bring new projects to the factory. This is part of the deal of the deal and we are committed to working actively on new Seat projects. The flexibility, competitiveness and success of our work are classy. We are now leading the small BEV project Future Fast Forward, adapting to the semiconductor crisis, all this helps us to do new projects at home and we will fight for it.
You’re Seat’s first vice president. Will there be more women at the management level?
There are 25% women in Seat management. It’s not 50%, but if we compare it with other companies in the industry, it’s not bad at all. I am delighted to be the first vice president in Seat history. I grew up at home and know the company and love it. That’s the key. I have been in many sectors of the house, production, model planning, training, I was in Wolfsburg… I will definitely be the first of the others. Day after day will lead us to him. More and more we have to talk about people, not men or women. It talks about the people who apply for the positions. Performance, competitiveness, talent and quality are always with people, regardless of their gender.
Education is key
They promote talent and education. Are you satisfied with the result?
During all my years at Seat, from 2015 to 2020, I was the head of training and apprenticeship school. We are fortunate to have the technology within VW’s reach and to have all the internal resources to deliver the highest quality training. group. This gave us this training for our employees. We also want providers to be able to receive training. It is almost a country project. Apprentice training for Seat as well as external to the company. It is a quality model that allows you to train professionals who give you an excellent professional result.
Do you have a ready template?
We did a good job, but now comes another leap forward, electrification means a huge volume of education. Everyone on the production line has to know how to play that car, including those who designed it. All of this makes it necessary to continue making breakthroughs… and we have an electrification training center that will continue to grow. We have an idea to expand to the second floor, a staircase is being built. It is a ladder to the future.
Is your experience in different positions important for negotiating this deal?
It is very important to have a more focused vision when negotiating. Rotation opens your mind to negotiate. You learn from what others do. I started production, industrial engineering… So I always see people. We made a big change. People and organization.
The agreement takes them until 2026, but as you said, everything changes very quickly and quick decisions need to be made. Will there be agreements in the future, but in a shorter term?
Makes sense, why not.