On Tuesday, 7 November, more than 200 employees of CARIAD protested planned layoffs and budget cuts.
This was prompted by the meeting of the economic committee at which the Executive Board presented its plans to the employee’s representatives. The resentment among the employees is also high because they only learnt about the cuts from the press – where layoffs of 2000 jobs are circulated.
IG Metall had called on the employees to hold a rally at the offices at Salzufer. The action by the works council, IG Metall and employees is a first loud response to the Executive Board’s plans: “That’s not okay!”
“Communication via the press is not the CARIAD way. The works council was and is always open to dialogue. That’s why we accepted the Executive Board’s invitation to talks today. But we are standing together here and are experiencing great solidarity from colleagues from other companies and the VW Group. Because for us, CARIADS ability to deliver is top priority, our colleagues’ jobs depend on it”, says Stefan Henze, Chairman of the General Works Council of CARIAD.
“For all my sarcasm and cynicism, I have to say quite clearly: a red line has been crossed here. And we are making that clear today with this protest action,” says Britta Berlet, Chairwoman of the Works Council of the region North-East.
The employees are angry. And in this situation many recognise the point of union organisation: since this bomb went off, numerous people joined. Caridians are organising.
Software division is having problems
Nationwide 6000 people work for CARIAD, about 1500 in Berlin. CARIAD is the software division of VW Group and develops the underlying software (such as driving assistants) and infotainment systems for all VW Group brands. The company faces major challenges.
How immense layoffs are supposed to solve these problems in the long run remains unclear. The management’s plans raises the question of what importance the VW Group attaches to its own software development. The works council and IG Metall do not oppose a necessary transformation, but state clearly that the change will only succeed in co-operation with the employees.
Thomas Weber, trade union secretary at IG Metall, says: “IG Metall together with the works council stands by the employees. A prerequisite for a successful transformation is the involvement of all Caridians. IG Metall stands for stability during change and for the sustainability of CARIAD. Layoffs do not solve a single problem.”
CARIAD has a IG Metall negotiated collective agreement for employment security running until at least mid-2025.