The first round of talks between Airbus and IG Metal ended on Wednesday without any results. 13,000 jobs are affected by the conflict over the planned corporate restructuring – many of them also at plants in Hamburg and Stadt. The union is now preparing for a possible strike.
Less than four hours later, Airbus and IG Metal parted ways with no result. “Further details about possible solutions will be discussed at the next round of talks on 7 September,” said an Airbus spokesman in Hamburg. In the second round, IG Metal negotiator, North German district manager Daniel Friedrich, expects concrete proposals as to how the company wants to secure its German positions in aircraft production. “The time window is slowly closing if the restructuring is to be implemented as planned in early 2022,” Frederick said.
An Airbus spokesperson said the first talks took place “in a constructive atmosphere”. “Both sides have explained their point of view in a factual exchange and have the common goal of finding a way forward and securing the future of the company and employees.” Frederick told about the general statements that now have to be backed up with binding commitments . “I took this to mean that they understood that they had to be specific to be able to keep up with their schedules.”
On the table are the demands of the largest German trade union for a social collective agreement. It should regulate conditions for employees who are affected by Airbus operations and conversions into premium aerotech subsidiaries.
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IG Metal and Works Council are seeking specific commitments to secure employment at locations in northern Germany and Augsburg over the next decade. IG Metal is also preparing for the possibility of a labor dispute in the conflict. Working councils are prohibited by law from holding strikes.
French Airbus boss Guillaume Faury announced in April that parts of Airbus Operations and the bulk of Premium Aerotec would be merged into a new subsidiary in early 2022 that would take care of structural assembly. This includes, for example, large parts of the body. In addition, a new unit is to be formed that will focus on the production of individual parts and smaller components.
Airbus looking for “external partners” for 13,000 employees
For this company, which should also serve other customers, Airbus is striving to establish a relationship with a “strong, external partner.” According to IG Metal, about 13,000 employees at Premium Aerotech’s locations in Hamburg, Bremen and Stadt as well as Nordenheim, Verel and Augsburg are affected in some form or the other.
The demands for a social wage agreement are intended to protect employees in an emergency: IG Metal asks for severance pay of three gross pay per year of service, but less than €25,000, should employees lose their jobs. In addition, a hardship rule and two-year qualifying measures must be agreed. Because the union believes that reconstruction plans are likely to have long-term consequences, it requires a period of 12 years. (dpa/mp)