Off the wire
President Raul Castro arrives in Antigua and Barbuda for Cuba-CARICOM summit  • Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Dec. 7  • Ukraine, Belarus to deepen cooperation on food safety  • Roundup: Germany's SPD votes for coalition talks with Union, re-elects Schulz as leader  • Morocco's parliament to hold meeting to show solidarity with Palestine  • Whaling puts Norway on Anonymous hackers' attack list: report  • Botswana condemns U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital  • Regenerative medicine therapy becoming possible: study  • U.S. stocks close higher as tech sector rebounds  • Feature: Turkey is not producer of coffee, but Turkish coffee is age-old tradition  
You are here:  

Thyssenkrupp workers' body warns against "deep breach of trust" over merger

Xinhua,December 08, 2017 Adjust font size:

BERLIN, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing conflict between Thyssenkrupp management and labor representatives over the announced international merger of the firm's steel division with rival Tata Steel threatened to escalate on Thursday.

The German industrial behemoth's steel division workers' council warned against attempting to pursue the fusion of Thyssenkrupp's European steel unit with Indian Tata Steel without the support of labor representatives.

Otherwise, the company risked causing a "deep breach of trust", Guenter Back, Chairman of the Steel Workers' Council, said after a works meeting in Duisburg.

Discussions between Thyssenkrupp management and union representatives over the future of the steel unit have not made "a millimeter" of progress since the widely-publicized announcement of the merger in September, Back complained.

Labor representatives are calling for long-term guarantees to preserve existing jobs and plants in Germany by signing a legally-binding collective agreement. Under German corporate law, companies are required to consider input from their employees on key strategic decisions.

The workers' council is now planning to hold a vote among staff over the tenets of the merger which have negotiated so far on Dec. 22 to infuse talks with new momentum.

Back said that he expected Thyssenkrupps' supervisory board to take the outcome of a workers' poll into account in making their decision. While the company's management could technically still decide to go ahead with the merger without the approval of labor representatives, Chief Executive Officer Heinrich Hiesinger has emphasized his desire to find a mutually-acceptable solution.

Thyssenkrupp hopes to enhance the long-term sustainability of its steel operations by joining forces with Tata Steel. However, the workers' council have voiced concern that more than 2,000 jobs could be lost in Germany as a consequence, and criticized related plans to move the unit's headquarters to the Netherlands. Enditem