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Bosch World Works Council addresses worker concerns

20 April, 2016Unions raised their voice at Bosch through the company’s World Works Council on 12-14 April, in Abstatt, Germany.

This was the fourth meeting of the World Works Council at Bosch. The worker representatives from 37 countries exchanged information on their employment conditions in the respective countries and sections of the company.

This huge German company makes products from electronics to car parts.

IndustriALL Global Union Director for the Auto Industry, Helmut Lense stated:

“At this body we aim to improve coordination between Bosch workers throughout the global operations. We receive from the corporate management important information on the company’s plans and how they will affect workers. And of course it is an important opportunity for us to raise our concerns from around the world with top-level management. I want to see this meeting happen every two years instead of every three.”

Christoph Kübel, Member of the Management Board and Director of Industrial Relations at Bosch, delivered a company overview, corporate policy and strategy to the meeting. Kübel addressed how technological changes will affect the company.

“Thanks to Industry 4.0, work as we know it today will be transformed. Work will be increasingly guided. Our goal is to train our staff, protect jobs and use this new technology step by step.”

Worker representatives were able to raise their local issues with corporate management, for example the 263 jobs cut in Adugodi, India, and the barriers to trade union organizing at Bosch in Mexico.

Chair of the Works Council, Alfred Löckle said:

“It is not about choosing between man and machine, the question is how to incorporate both together. On labour issues, while social dialogue has been improved in most sites, we still hear many examples of local management trying to impede local, regional and international representation bodies.”