Ernst Prost: “Nobody will be laid off – if need be, I’ll waive my salary”

German oil and additive specialist Liqui Moly says it is taking a clear stand in the wake of the global economic crisis which is unfolding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liqui Moly Managing Director, Ernst Prost, has promised Liqui Moly employees that “nobody will be laid off. If need be, I’ll waive my salary.”
In late March, Ernst Prost surprised his Liqui Moly employees with a bonus payment of 1,000 euro (approximately 1,841 AUD).
Ernst said this payment was “to boost motivation and as a sign of confidence, because in times of crisis this is quickly shaken.” Now, a job guarantee has followed.
“Fear and worry are hard to live with, let alone accomplish great things. That’s why I promised them that they would not have to suffer financial losses. No one is to be dismissed!” Ernst said.
Liqui Moly says this statement applies to all employees – in Germany and in the subsidiaries in Spain and Portugal, Italy, France, South Africa and the USA. In addition, there are employees in Denmark, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands, Thailand, China, Japan and India.
“Not only is business global, so is responsibility. All around the globe, our colleagues must be able to feed their families,” Ernst said.
The top priority for the Managing Director is to protect the health of his employees and their families.
“On the other hand, we are trying to keep operations going for as long as possible. (This is) an exhausting but necessary balancing act,” Ernst said.
This presupposes the proper functioning of the supply chains in procurement as well as in sales.
“As long as this is guaranteed, we will keep production going,” he said.
In addition, Liqui Moly says it is important for the Managing Director to be able to continue to pay wages and salaries in full and on time and this is true especially now, despite the fact that due to the protective measures against the coronavirus, the decline in orders is drastic and revenues are correspondingly low.
Looking at the current year, Liqui Moly must generate a payroll including social security contributions of around 57 million euro (approximately 104.84 million AUD).
“These are the tasks we have been facing around the clock,” Ernst said.
For the worst-case scenario, he goes one step further.
“If the situation demands it, I will forgo my salary. Everyone must make sacrifices; the captain has to set an example, so that the crew can trust him,” Ernst said.
Liqui Moly says its Managing Director sees himself as responsible not only to his co-entrepreneurs, but also to his customers all over the world.
“Wherever we can assist, we will. The first calls for help have already reached me personally, for example from Mexico. Not only is the new virus rampant in this country, but inflation and violence are also affecting people’s lives daily,” Ernst said.
“We are doing everything humanly possible to bring goods, as the basis for the customers’ activities, to the partners.”
Ernst sees the situation abroad as more threatening than in Germany, because in most countries the economic strength and state aid programs are not comparable with those in Germany. A glance at Italy reveals apocalyptic conditions.
“Many an already weakened country has now been devastated. We must stand firm as long as we can,” he said.

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