Economy

Daimler: Head of the works council raises serious allegations against the board members

REUTERS / Kai Pfaffenbach / File Photo

The head of the Daimler works council, Michael Brecht, has sharply criticized the latest decisions by the board of directors of the auto group. “The board is overshooting the mark. The workforce is not the enemy, ”said Brecht to the“ Handelsblatt ”about the company’s austerity measures.

According to Brecht, some of the arguments of the works councils are no longer heard by the management, which is why the relationship is tense. “A relationship in which you refuse to approach each other doesn’t last long. We are at a critical point, ”said the head of the works council, who is also deputy chairman of the Daimler supervisory board.

“The management is absolutely resistant to advice”, criticizes the works council chairman

Recently, Daimler’s plans to have more engines built in China from 2024 onwards in order to save costs have caused trouble. The Stuttgart-based company wants to work with the Chinese automaker Geely, which is also a major shareholder in Daimler. The head of the works council of the leading drive plant in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Michael Häberle, was “stunned” by the decision last week.

Brecht demanded that “the German locations should be given a fair chance in the case of far-reaching product decisions such as the new generation of engines and that they should be taken into account when the award is made”. That was not the case here. The head of the works council accuses the board of directors of “bad style”. “Everyone at Daimler knows that we are in a difficult situation, but do you really have to scare people almost to death?” Said Brecht in the “Handesblatt”.

The man from Baden is also concerned about the employees in the truck division. Entire locations could shrink by 30 or 40 percent in the next few years. “You can now cancel the 40-hour contracts for thousands of clerks without any need. The management is absolutely resistant to advice ”, criticized Brecht. He also called for more vertical integration in electromobility. Instead of buying batteries and other components, Daimler should invest more in its own production in order to secure jobs in Germany.

Structural change and pandemic: The pressure at Daimler is enormous

Daimler is in the midst of structural change. CEO Ola Källenius is driving the turnaround towards electromobility with great ambition, which has also generated a lot of internal criticism. At the same time, the corona crisis is weighing on the German car manufacturer, which is also heavily dependent on its Chinese business. Serious competition is also threatening from Silicon Valley. The pressure at Daimler is enormous; many employees fear for their jobs.

Works councils and IG Metall would therefore like to have more say on the way to becoming a climate-neutral company and want to express this with an action in the coming week, announced Brecht in the “Handelsblatt”: “If this protest does not work, the decisions will be more difficult where the board of directors needs our approval. ”

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