Employee at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin: "Is the plant about to end?"
Photo: MICHELE TANTUSSI / REUTERS
The foreseeable reduction in jobs at the car manufacturer Daimler through the switch to electromobility is encountering resistance.
At the largest Mercedes component plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, the number of employees is to shrink from around 19,000 by 4,000 by 2025, as the works council of the plant explained in an employee information sheet.
The company is also questioning the production agreements already concluded at the site and does not want to invest any more in conventional drives.
In addition, Daimler wants to change or even cancel existing agreements on the conversion of production, said works council chairman Michael Häberle on Thursday.
"This tough cut robs us of the time we need for a fair transformation - we employee representatives can only take this as a provocation."
Union sees engine plant at risk
At the Mercedes engine plant in Berlin, which employs around 2500 people, there are concerns about large-scale job cuts.
"Is the plant about to end?" Asked IG Metall and the works council in a message.
The employees had previously been informed of the status of negotiations with the company.
According to the union, an investment freeze, the gradual shutdown of production and the relocation of production lines to Eastern Europe are planned.
"It makes no sense at all to want to bleed out such a well-established plant with all its know-how. We will oppose this with all employees and with IG Metall," said works council chairman Michael Rahmel.
Jan Otto from IG Metall Berlin criticized: "It cannot be that Tesla is building a completely new plant with 10,000 jobs less than 50 kilometers from the Mercedes Benz plant in Berlin - and at the same time the Daimler management can think of nothing more than before to pinch the future and want to shut down its oldest manufacturing plant here. "
Daimler declared that they did not want to close the Berlin plant.
"There will be further investments in Berlin as well," said a company spokeswoman.
The share in conventional drives will be reduced to a minimum - while that for CO2-neutral technologies and digitization should increase.
Car giant is struggling with the switch
The spokeswoman did not comment directly on the possible job cuts.
Investments will continue in internal combustion engines and, at the same time, much more money will be put into CO2-neutral technology in order to secure the future of the locations, she said.
"To this end, the company is in constructive talks with the employee representatives."
The factories in Untertürkheim and Berlin produce parts for internal combustion engines that could completely disappear from the market by the end of the 2030s.
Both locations are "at the center of the transformation," continued Daimler.
Mercedes-Benz must invest significantly in the conversion to electrification and digitization of the cars - and at the same time improve its cost structure sustainably.
The Stuttgart-based group is struggling even more than Volkswagen and BMW with the switch - which is being accelerated by the business slump in the corona crisis.
Even before the pandemic, Daimler was struggling: the Chinese market was weakening, and the Swabians are now having high costs of the diesel scandal.
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