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Austerity course at Messe AG: IG Metall sets conditions

Deutsche Messe AG is struggling with serious revenue losses in the Corona crisis, among other things due to the cancellation of the world’s largest industrial show, the Hannover Messe. A savings concept is on the table, the details are still being fought for. It’s about up to 300 jobs. In the dispute over the downsizing, the works council and IG Metall are now open to an offer from management, but are tying their approval to several conditions.

You can save up to 60 million euros over four years, it said on Monday from the union in Hanover. Parts of compromise for this would be an extension of short-time work at 2021 in painted increase in the short-time allowance, the renunciation of tariff benefits and the socially responsible elimination of jobs through a volunteer program, more part-time and non Nachbesetzung expiring points. The latter could lead to the loss of 150 jobs in the medium to long term, and around 50 in the short term.

In return, however, the company must “take the threat of insolvency off the table,” emphasized IG Metall. In addition, there should be an exclusion of compulsory layoffs for the remaining trade fair employees, and the board of directors must “make an own contribution, for example significantly reducing certain Deutsche Messe AG pension commitments for executives”. The management only wanted to comment on the possible agreement concept in the course of the afternoon after further discussions had been concluded.

The trade fair company is struggling with serious revenue losses in the Corona crisis, among other things because of the cancellation of the world’s largest industrial show, the Hanover Fair, and the canceled debut of the Cebit successor Twenty2X. According to information from the “Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung” there is a risk of a loss of up to 100 million euros this year. The planning for the Hannover Messe 2021 should look good at the moment.

For weeks there have been discussions about how the sponsors – the state of Lower Saxony, the city of Hanover and the Hanover region – could help Deutsche Messe AG to bridge the crisis. However, the state in particular is making further savings a prerequisite. “We will have to come to socially acceptable adjustments in the personnel body,” said Finance Minister Reinhold Hilbers (CDU) of the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung”.

Hilbers suggested that some areas could be outsourced to service providers: “For example, I wonder whether we have to employ our own gardeners and also run the catering ourselves. The same applies to the technical area.” The union and works council had sharply criticized such “outsourcing” plans.

In return, Hilbers offered a guarantee from the state, with which the fair could more easily obtain new loans. That is a better way than a capital increase, as it is called for by the employee side. “What you can’t do with me is just pour money into it and pretend nothing has happened,” said Hilbers.

Last week, the budget committee of the state parliament discussed the financial situation of the state holdings Messe and Hannover Airport. Hanover’s Mayor Belit Onay (Greens) said it was about “systemically important” institutions for the state capital. “We are interested in the fair emerging healthy and fit from this crisis,” said the Green politician. “It’s similar with the airport.

Onay emphasized that almost 15,000 jobs were directly and indirectly attached to trade fair events in the region, for example in restaurants and hotels. “But the trade fair also shapes our city socially. When Deutsche Messe has the world as a guest here, you can feel it in the city,” said Onay. “Therefore we will of course live up to our responsibility to support the fair.”


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