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At Daimler, the dispute over the future and plans to save the group’s management over CEO Ola Kelenius continues to grow. After various attacks from the working councils in the past few days, the car manufacturer reacted on Wednesday. In an internal letter to employees, he threatened the planned electromobility jurisdiction at the main plant in Stuttgart-Unteturkheim if employee representatives continued to insist on their demands. Meanwhile, truck chief Martin Daum, also in a letter to the workforce, dismissed warnings of “deforestation” at German truck plants.
Working councils and IG Metal recently opened up more and more openly against conversion and savings plans and only called for a national “solidarity campaign” at all locations on Monday. “Plant workers are trembling and fearing for their future. “The workforce in the administration feels rejected.” The head of the General Affairs Council, Michael Brecht, accused the leadership of acting “absolutely resistant to advice”.
As has often been the case in the past, the main focus is on the main factory in Unteturkheim. Mercedes-Benz develops and manufactures engines, transmissions and axles at Neckar’s headquarters. This means that the factory is much more affected by the transformation of the industry than the production of vehicles in Sindelfingen, for example;
Daimler wants to build a Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems Campus in Unteturkheim and develop batteries and electric drives. The working council wants that too, but insists on creating compensation in the form of other production orders that will be lost with the switch – as agreed with the company. The e-campus alone is not enough to make up for lost jobs in the combustion engine.
“Employee negotiators are insisting that all existing contracts be implemented unchanged,” the management said in a letter to the German press. From the point of view of that time, they were reasonable and accurate, but the situation has changed fundamentally. “Sticking to the status quo is not an option,” wrote board members Marcus Chaffer and Jorg Burzer.
One of the points of contention is the production of crankshafts. “One thing is clear: If the new production of the crankshaft comes to Unteturkem in its entirety, we will have to look at alternative scenarios for the Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems campus.
A Daimler spokeswoman confirmed that various alternatives were currently being considered. In order to implement future technologies in Unteturkheim as planned, appropriate conditions need to be created there, for example in terms of areas. This also means that it is not possible to keep the traditional portfolio. However, it continues to strive for a constructive solution together with employee representatives.
The letter states that the agreement for exclusion of technological redundancy for operational reasons is certainly in force. At the same time, Chauffeur and Burzer urge employees to be flexible and, in some cases, consider moving to another nearby factory.
The mood is also heating up in the truck area, where thousands of seats are available. “There is a risk of deforestation if we do not defend ourselves!” Job councils at several locations recently wrote to staff. “We can not leave it at that,” said a letter signed by Daimler Trucks CEO Daum and Human Resources Director Jürgen Hartwig, also available for dpa. “Clear cutting means we want to cut jobs arbitrarily, and that is simply wrong.”
One must, on the one hand, reduce costs, especially in Europe, and, on the other hand, create a technological transformation. Dialogue with employee representatives is required in order to find the best solutions together. “But we want to tell you one thing honestly: we can only take measures that are economical,” the administration wrote. Therefore, one should be prepared for the fact that employment will disappear in some areas.
The spokeswoman confirmed that there would be “noticeable changes” in the works. The company is aware of the related responsibility and will negotiate with the working council for the future direction of the locations in the coming months.
Daimler shares are currently losing 1.55 percent to 57.05 euros in the XETRA business.
/ eni / DP / easy
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