On Tuesday, February 2nd, Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch announced the reduction of almost 7 700 jobs globally. The most concerned countries are Germany (about 3 000 jobs), the US (1 000 – 1 500 jobs) and France (several hundreds of jobs). In Germany, IG Metall critizises the plans and declares its solidarity with all concerned workers and their unions.
IG Metall and the works councils assure to especially support the workers and their unions in countries with a low level of union rights. They will thouroughly analyze the plans and decide based on the results, if or how they will resist. It is expected that they will challenge the plans and try to secure as many jobs as possible. They announced to particularly fight all measures merely driven by cost-cutting motives, showing no perspective for the future.
Regarding the announced closure of the factory in Olean, New York, USA, it is disappointing to see, that our joint attempts to improve the relationship and cooperation of management and unions in the US have not led to satisfactory and sustainable results.
Union rights are an important element of a democratic society. This should not only be respected in platitudes, but has to be included on a daily basis.
In the US, the United Steel Workers condemned especially the plan to close the Dresser-Rand facility in in North Olean (N.Y.) and lay off close to 900 workers. More than 350 of those are members of USW Local 4601.
USW District 4 Director Del Vitale called Siemens' decision disrespectful to generations of workers who dedicated their careers to the company and to the community which has supported it: “With almost 110 years of manufacturing history at stake, Siemens unilaterally determined our jobs and our community are expendable without consulting workers or notifying the union. We must urge management to reverse its catastrophic course.” The USW will demand to negotiate over the company’s decision to close the facility and if necessary, the effects of the closure.