The car maker Daimler has to save even more because of the corona crisis and now wants to cut significantly more jobs than previously known. In addition, the Group no longer rules out redundancies. Chief Human Resources Officer Wilfried Porth still does not name a specific number of jobs that should be cut.
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However, the 10,000 or even 15,000 discussed in public so far are not enough. “The new number is definitely bigger than the two,” he told the German Press Agency. “And we would need it to prevent redundancies due to operational reasons.” He accused the works council of lacking courtesy.
“Don’t push against the workforce”
General works council chief Michael Brecht warned against pushing the transformation of the industry against the employees. “The board must also be clear that the change must succeed with the workforce, not against them,” he said.
The corona crisis is putting pressure on the group, which has been weakening the last time anyway, and has around 300,000 employees worldwide. CEO Ola Källenius had already stressed at the Annual General Meeting on Wednesday that the austerity program launched last autumn had to be tightened. In addition to a large number of other measures, this included savings in the personnel area of 1.4 billion euros. But these are not enough either. “1.4 billion was the base. Now the number is definitely increasing,” said Porth.
“Make more use of levers”
“We have three different issues: one is the corona pandemic, which is now also causing an economic crisis,” he said. “We have the topic of electromobility and we have the topic of competitive cost positioning. There were two topics before, Corona is now added.” Now it’s not about inventing new measures. Instead, the existing levers have to be used even more.
So far, Daimler has primarily focused on fluctuation, partial retirement or severance payments. So far, they have only been aimed at administration. But it could be, said Porth, that they would now also be extended to individual production areas in which there was overcapacity. Around 700 employees have so far accepted the offer. In addition, there are discussions about outsourcing the IT service to an external company, which would affect about 2,000 jobs.
Terminations possible despite “future security” pact
In connection with the restructuring of the group, the Group and the Works Council had agreed in the “2030 Future Security” – internally called “ZuSi” – that there should be no redundancies by the end of the decade. However, said Porth that this would mean renegotiation if the economic framework changed significantly.
“ZuSi describes the path that you take together to secure employment,” he emphasized. “In the event of changing economic conditions, however, it also describes the path that can ultimately lead to redundancies without the need for the agreement to be terminated.”
Works council should make concessions
Now you are in conversation. And there is no dissent that the framework conditions have changed significantly. “Unfortunately, the willingness of the works council to accept really significant measures is not particularly pronounced,” criticized Porth. In order to be able to keep the goal of avoiding redundancies, significantly more courtesy is needed.
It is also important, but not only about the number of jobs. “We have collective agreements such as breaks, we pay late shift bonuses from 2:00 p.m. – these are all historical things that may have been correct at the time. But they no longer fit in with the times and they no longer fit in with today’s cost structures “said Porth.