Siemens backs away from huge German job cuts

Siemens backs away from huge German job cuts
Only some will stay. Photo DPA
Siemens appears to be backing away from huge job cuts in Germany announced earlier this month, according to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Instead, the paper reports Siemens chief Peter Löscher has been convinced to cut jobs in the Czech Republic instead. The paper says sources claim the company will avoid closing factories in Germany, but will close one instead in Prague, with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.

The factory there will either be sold or simply closed, according to information from the meeting of the Siemens working group ‘Mobility in Motion’ on Friday. Löscher held a secret meeting with Berthold Huber, head of the huge trade union IG Metall in the last few days, where it seems some room for manoeuvre was created.

However, the problems have not all been solved – initially Siemens wanted to cut as many as 5,000 jobs in Germany – losing 1,000 in Prague is not going to be enough.

It seems the job cuts are all but inevitable, the Süddeutsche writes – if Löscher fails to reduce employment costs at Siemens’ transport division, it will likely be sold off – and the new owners will make those costs. But Löscher is intent on avoiding a full-scale fight with German unions by stepping back from closing entire factories, even though positions will have to be cut.

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