Car maker Daimler wants to cut more jobs

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Stuttgart (dpa) – The car maker Daimler wants to cut significantly more jobs than previously known because of the corona crisis. Chief Human Resources Officer Wilfried Porth continues to give no number.

But: In any case, the 10,000 or 15,000 jobs that have been reported so far, which are reportedly to be eliminated, are not enough. “The new number is definitely larger than the two,” he told the German Press Agency. “And we would need that to prevent redundancies due to operational reasons.” He accused the works council of lacking courtesy.

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 were the basis. Now the number is definitely increasing, »said Porth.

“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 of the 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 relied on natural fluctuation, partial retirement schemes and severance payments – so far only in administration, but it could be that these are now being extended to individual production areas. 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.

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.”

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, which 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.

One talks about shorter working hours without wage compensation, one can also talk about Christmas and vacation pay. «The question is: what is the easiest to implement? And what is limited impact on employees? »Said Porth. «We don’t want to lower the pay lines. And we don’t want to do anything that really gets employees into economic trouble. But we have to find a way to implement the company’s restructuring in a timely manner. That is the basic requirement for the ZuSi to continue to apply in the form. »

Porth rejects a general reduction in working hours. The company is not in an exclusive economic crisis as in 2008/09, but in a restructuring of the auto industry. In other words, fewer workers would be needed in the end, and this problem could not be overlooked. “There is no use if the union demands general reductions in working hours and the 30-hour week,” said Porth. “That delays our problem.”

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