×

UPDATE 1-VW's top labor representative backs Diess as new CEO

* Works council chief says Diess is the right man

* Says conflict with Diess has long been laid to rest

* Says MAN, Scania labor bosses back next steps for trucks (Adds further works council chief comments, background)

FRANKFURT, April 13 (Reuters) - Volkswagen's top labor representative on Friday backed the choice of Herbert Diess as the carmaker's new chief executive, as well as a move to prepare the truck business for a potential listing.

"We are convinced that, with Diess, we have the right man on board," works council chief Bernd Osterloh said in a letter to employees on Friday.

Volkswagen late on Thursday announced the appointment of Diess, after the group's board of directors ousted Matthias Mueller as CEO, in an overhaul of the company, which spans motorbikes, buses, trucks and passenger car brands including Ducati, Bentley, Porsche, Audi, Scania and Skoda.

Osterloh and Diess have clashed in the past. Osterloh accused Diess, who was hired as VW brand manager only three months before the Dieselgate emissions scandal broke, of betraying workers and trying to use the scandal as a pretext for pushing through job cuts.

"Back then, we were not immediately on the same page," Osterloh said in his letter. "But as is well known, that issue was laid to rest a long time ago."

Osterloh and Diess struck a deal in November 2016 on cost savings and job cuts via natural attrition.

The labor representative also said on Friday that the works councils of truck brands Scania and MAN supported Volkswagen's decision to prepare its truck and bus division for "capital market readiness" by making it a public limited company. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Andrew Roche)