LEasier access to short-time work and qualification measures, as well as financial structural aid for certain regions, should make structural change in the auto industry socially acceptable in the coming years. Representatives of the industry, employers and trade unions discussed these demands with several federal ministers on Wednesday at the "Auto Summit" in the Federal Chancellery. At the meeting, decisions were prepared but not made, it said before the appointment. Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (SPD) announced that the government would "accompany the structural change in terms of employment policy". Today's employees should be given the chance to do tomorrow's work, Heil said in the Bundestag.
The automobile association VDA, the employers' association Gesamtmetall and the union IG Metall presented joint proposals for a “concerted action mobility”. In the introduction, it says in the introduction that "it is of the greatest interest for society as a whole to continue to have a competitive, innovative and employable industry in Germany in the future". A "coordinated action between the social partners and the state is necessary in order to strengthen Germany as an industrial location through structural change and to offer employees prospects". According to the VDA, around one tenth of the 834,000 jobs could be lost by 2030 due to the transition from internal combustion engines to electromobility. However, much more pessimistic scenarios are also discussed.
In view of the already noticeable slowdown in the auto industry, the VDA and the social partners are quickly calling for easier access to short-time work, as in the financial and economic crisis in 2009. "This can be done through a power to issue regulations that allow these instruments to be used precisely and without delay," says the Paper. Companies would have to make decisions quickly. You must be able to keep the job despite a temporarily lower order volume. Therefore, the hurdles for short-time work should be reduced. Companies should be reimbursed for social security contributions if they are linked to qualifications. The duration of the short-time allowance should be extended to 24 months.
"Employees have to contribute to the transformation"
Access to qualification measures for entire groups of employees is also to be made easier. Furthermore, new financing instruments are to be used to maintain value chains – for example through transformation companies that help companies in the crisis to build new business models beyond the combustion engine. Heil has already taken up many of these demands in the draft of the "Work of Tomorrow" law, the details of which are controversial between the SPD and the Union. In order to maintain industrial clusters in regions, all those involved should also develop transformation plans, on the basis of which the federal and state governments could decide on structural aid.
VDA board member Stefan Wolf, who is also the negotiator of the Südwestmetall employers' association, put the need for structural change on Wednesday at "ten to twenty billion euros for the supplier and automotive industries". At the same time, Wolf called for workers to be accommodating in the upcoming wage round. "Employees have to contribute to the transformation," he said. He hopes that there will be constructive talks. Wolf more or less openly demanded a zero round: "If we give 2 percent, the next negotiations will start at this higher level." As an alternative, Wolf brought in one-off payments in the event of an "economic recovery". In order to better plan the transformation, the longest possible term of the collective agreement is also useful.
. (tagsToTranslate) Hubertus Heil (t) Stefan Wolf (t) VDA (t) SPD (t) Trade Unions (t) Federal Chancellery (t) Bundestag