4 December, 2019The German multinational corporation thyssenkrupp is in a very serious situation and 160,000 jobs all over the world are at risk. In addition, thyssenkrupp Elevator, currently top number five in the market and source of steady profit for the group, will be sold or taken to the stock market.
On 4 December 2,500 workers of thyssenkrupp Elevator rallied in Essen, Germany, at the group headquarters, demanding a clear strategy and job guarantees. Just one day before, on 3 December, about 6,000 steelworkers staged their rally in Duisburg, also Germany. They succeeded in concluding a no-redundancy agreement for the steel business, and that is exactly what also the Elevator workers demand. Protests also took place in other locations and sites, including in Spain, where over 6,000 workers are affected at thyssenkrupp Elevator unit.
After years of bad results in the group as a whole, company management is under pressure from investors, however it is again the workers who are forced to pay the price for bad management decisions in the past.
Knut Giesler, Head of IG Metall North Rhine-Westphalia region and vice chairman of the supervisory board at thyssenkrupp Elevator said:
“For many years, Elevator employees have done an excellent job for the thyssenkrupp Group and they achieved the best results. Now this has to save the group. That's why the workforce must also be treated properly. Unfortunately, we don’t see much of this yet. Management still refuses to provide the necessary security for jobs and locations. That is not acceptable. That is why we increase pressure today. We will not allow that some greedy stock market dealers rub their hands and at the same time the employees are threatened in their existence.”
Workers of the elevators business worldwide demand from the thyssenkrupp management:
- to save the jobs at thyssenkrupp Elevator;
- to safeguard sites and jobs in all affected countries in case of divestment;
- to develop a clear perspective for thyssenkrupp Elevator’s employees as well as for all other business units;
- to provide proper information in due time and consult with workers and their trade unions in Germany, but as well in Europe and the rest of the world.
Thyssenkrupp European Works Council addressed a list of demands to the company. Wolfgang Krause, spokesperson of the international committee and head of the European Works Council at thyssenkrupp said:
“Respect and solidarity - these are our guiding principles in the European Works Council. Not long, and the final decision over either bringing the elevator business to the stock market, or sell it in parts or in total, will be published. We need a solution; we need an answer for our colleagues! Not only in Germany but throughout Europe and beyond. We promise that we won’t leave the employees alone in these difficult times and uncertain future.”
Susanne Herberger, head of the works council at thyssenkrupp Elevator said:
“For months now, the employees of thyssenkrupp elevators have been kept in the dark regarding their future. We demand that management ends this unclarity and that they decide whether the elevator business will be brought to the stock market or is subject to a partial or even total divestment. When looking at the different options, it has to be made clear: there must be a proper perspective for employees and for the business. 53,000 affected employees are 53,000 good reasons to fight for this goal.”
Matthias Hartwich, director for mechanical engineering and base metals at IndustriALL Global Union comments on the situation:
“Our German colleagues deserve full solidarity and support in their struggle. This struggle is not about steel or lifts and escalators, this struggle is about 160,000 jobs. This is about 160,000 workers and their families worldwide. In Germany, Europe, India, Asia, the Americas and everywhere where thyssenkrupp has operations. IndustriALL demands that the management takes the global perspective into account when concluding agreements with the unions and also shares information over future plans with the unions worldwide.”