Siemens Dialog
27.05.2024, 17:05 Uhr

Chairman and regional speakers of the SEC unanimously re-elected

  • 07.06.2016
  • International

33 members of the "Siemens Europe Committee" (SEC) from 21 countries held the 21st meeting of the SEC on May 18th and 19th in Berlin.

The election of the chairman, the deputy chairman and the speakers for the SEC-regions, which are also members of the Executive Committee, took place under the direction of the German SEC member Olaf Bolduan from Berlin. Elected were Harald Kern (Germany) as chairman, Fritz Hagl (Austria) as Deputy chairman and speaker for the Region Central-/East-Europe, Bettina Haller (Germany) as Deputy chairperson and speaker for the Region Germany. Roy Lund (Norway) was elected as speaker for the Region North-/West-Europe and Margherita Milite (Italy) for the Region South-/ West-Europe.

Kern explained the duties of the SEC and particularly emphasized on the role of the SEC members in the exchange of informations between the SEC and the respective national level of employee representation. Birgit Steinborn, the Chairwoman of the Central Works Council in Germany, mentioned historical references to the date of the SEC session as the Paulskirche Assembly in 1848 as a beginning of parliamentarianism and democracy in Germany. She sees democracy as being endangered now by current developments in Europe. Furthermore, she described the development at Siemens in Europe as critical.

Reinhard Hahn, responsible for Siemens at IG Metall, also sees exclusion rather than integration as the current trend in Europe. He pointed out that the economic situation of Siemens is actually very good. Roy Lund, Margherita Milite, Fritz Hagl and Bettina Haller held the reports for the SEC-regions.

Subsequently, the emphases of the next day, the current problems in the division "Process Industries and Drives" and the issues raised regarding the "corporate security", were discussed.

On the second day of the SEC session from the employers' side Mrs. Kugel, board member and responsible for HR, Mr. Erb, the head of HR, as well as the expert speakers Dr. Niehage, Dr. Brandes and Mr. Strümpfel joined the SEC meeting as guests. Kern pointed out in his opening of the second day of the SEC session that the European market is at Siemens still representing 50% of sales and orders.

Dr. Niehage, head of Siemens offices for government relations, explained the activities of the department "Government Affairs". The department has offices in Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Washington D.C. and Beijing and numerous other branch offices. As an example of the positive work of the department, Dr. Niehage mentioned the achieved power plant order in Egypt.

There are, according to Niehage, numerous demands to provide training capacity in connection with the placing of orders. Ferran Navarro from Spain asked for the Siemens stake in a controversial dam project in Honduras, where obviously environmental activists have been killed in connection with the controversy. Kugel said that Siemens supports the position of the prime contractor, the company Vo-ith, to stop the processing of the order for the time of the investigation of the incident in Honduras.

Kugel explained the current business figures of Siemens. There were only slight changes in the number of employees in the last three months. She cited the main challenges digitization, demographic change, climate change, urbanization and globalization. Siemens will also expand the existing vocational training activities in the USA, India, Brazil and Colombia by also providing vocational training in China, Indonesia and Egypt.

In the ensuing discussion primarily still existing communication problems with management and HR and difficulties with temporary workers and the employment of apprentices resulting from "head count thinking" were addressed. Difficulties in the continuous employment of fully trained apprentices are currently showing up in Austria; the contract workers problem was addressed mainly from the representatives from Austria and Denmark. Brandes made remarks on the difficulties in the division "Process Industries and Drives". He pointed in particular to the fall in oil prices and the shift of markets to Asia and America.

The SEC members from Austria criticized the lack of information about the planned closure of the SIMEA production in Vienna. This planned measure would anyway be totally incomprehensible because the production is well utilized and highly profitable. Hagl wondered why the management is always just thinking about relocation from Europe to Asia and, for example in this case, not in the reverse direction. There was also a discussion about the locations in Norway, France (Haguenau) and Spain (Cornellà). Brandes said that there are generally no guarantees for any location.

Strümpfel explained the existing Siemens regulations for company security, travel security and crisis management. He pointed to increasing difficulties with civil wars, terrorist attacks and cyber crime all over the world. At Siemens, special travel permits are necessary for missions in some areas. As spectacular example of the activities of his department he mentioned the fledging of 68 employees of Siemens and the subcontractors hired by a power plant construction-agency in Iraq in front of the advancing IS militia in July, 2014.

Paul Gregory from the UK asked specifically for the secondment of workers in war zones against the will of those concerned. Such a conflict actually occurred in Lincoln. Strümpfel pointed to the existing management accountability. To his opinion, involuntary secondments are not useful. Kern said that there are several representatives present in the ranks of the SEC that are experts for the issue, for example from the sites Mülheim, Berlin, Finspång or Lincoln.

At the conclusion of the SEC meeting, an internal evaluation of the meeting was held, and some appointments were made.Kern announced the release of a principal statement of the SEC relating to relocation from Europe to other regions. He also pointed to the association "Wir für Siemens" that aims on strengthening the influence of the workforce inside the company by achieving a bigger proportion of shares of the company.

The SEC said good-bye to René Jensen from Denmark and Mikael Wiström from Sweden. Kern thanked both for their many years of work with the SEC.

The next SEC meeting will take place on May 30th/31st 2017 in Brussels.

» Download of SEC-Resolution concerning the importance of the European Market via link on top of this page (2016_VI-SEC-Resolution_en.pdf).