Elections of confidants 2024

Confidants at CARIAD. Close to colleagues on an equal footing with the union

16.05.2024 | New confidants will be elected at CARIAD in June. Two of the current confidants spoke to us about their motivation and prospects.

Ania Peña Gauert at the Aktivenkonferenz (Pic.: Igor Pastierovic)

Cindy Fasanya (Pic.: private)

Ania, Cindy, are you originally from Berlin? How do you like the city?

Cindy Fasanya: Originally, i am from Braunschweig and have been living in Berlin for about 3.5 years. I feel very comfortable and settled here by now.

Ania Peña Gauert: I returned to Berlin after 15 years in Wolfsburg. The cultural and culinary offerings are incomparable. And I like being able to reach the Baltic Sea quickly.

When did you join the union?

Ania: I previously worked at Volkswagen and became a member when I started working there in 2009. There, it was unthinkable not to be organized. I was critical of that at first. But it's a huge advantage to be organized and informed with IG Metall. In Wolfsburg, I quickly learned to appreciate the advantages of being part of such a strong community.

And did you became active right from the start?

Ania: I only became a confidant (translators note: also known as shop steward),  later, in the  corporate IT. I wanted to know more about collective bargaining policy and the background regarding employment contracts.

What made you join IG Metall, Cindy?

Cindy: In April 2021, I was approached by a former confidant who was changing companies and looking for a successor. I hadn't really done much research into IG Metall before, but I found the opportunity to get involved beyond my regular work so compelling that I became a member straight away. Because I joined directly as a confidant, I was active right from the start. I was also elected to the first collective bargaining committee at CARIAD pretty quickly. That was in the fall of 2021.

It is said that confidants bring more democracy and movement into the company. What do you do as shop stewards at CARIAD? How would you describe your primary tasks?

Cindy: We have an open ear and are a mouthpiece that can be addressed by the staff in a low-threshold and informal way. Turning to the works council often gives some people the feeling that they are making a “big deal” out of it, even if they only want to get a second opinion at first. Therefore they often approach us confidants for this. By accompanying collective bargaining movements and communicating during major transformations, we also have a creative influence on our working environment.

Ania: Exactly, we are the ears and eyes of the workforce! Everyone in the confidants committee is a multiplier, we are in the teams and we can quickly relay emerging topics to the appropriate channels and reflect the mood. Another important task is the exchange with the other regions, as we also have cross-location teams.

Cindy: As confidants, we support each other. Through joint seminars or our work in the collective bargaining committee, we are also networked across the IG Metall region.

CARIAD is a relatively young company. How long has the confidant structure been in place?

Cindy: The confidant structure existed quite early on in most locations, as it was formed from former plant colleagues.

Ania: I moved to CARIAD as a corporate loan from the Volkswagen brand. Since I had already served as a trusted representative there, nothing prevented me from continuing this position at CARIAD. It took a little longer in Berlin until the official elections of the confidants. The role of the confidants was completely new in Berlin and had to prove itself first. In the meantime, I believe we have succeeded in doing so.

Cindy: Here in Berlin, the starting conditions were different. Most of our colleagues came from the tech world without collective bargaining and first had to get used to the new world with a trade union and collective bargaining.

What role does the trade union play in your work as confidants?

Ania: The union is our main point of contact when it comes to collective bargaining policy, because they have the in-depth knowledge. Our discussions always take place at eye level, which I really appreciate. The union also gives us the opportunity to gain insights into other tech companies and exchange ideas with our colleagues there. An annual conference for active union members – the Aktivenkonferenz – in Köpenick was unforgettable in this respect.

Cindy: The union is an elementary component. Of course, in terms of content, but also interpersonally. We collaborate with great colleagues from IG Metall, in both the confidants committee and the collective bargaining committee. Our cooperation is based on trust and equality – and that is very much noticeable.

What happens now that the collective agreement on job security has been reached?

Cindy: The collective wage framework agreement (translator's note: a description of job and qualification characteristics for the wage and salary groups and the criteria for categorisation) can be terminated by the end of 2024 , and by the end of 2025, we must have negotiated the CARIAD profit participation. We have also agreed with the employer side on the possibility of iterations. This means that we can make changes even without terminating the collective agreement, as long as both sides agree. Due to the major transformation, this was not a priority recently. However, we intend to address this soon.

Do you see any potential problems coming your way?

Ania: We have launched an initiative to keep all our communication bilingual or preferably in English. It is a challenge to reproduce the content correctly. Fortunately, we also get support from IG Metall Berlin and we also exchange ideas with native speakers among our colleagues.

Cindy: With the advance payment and job security until 2029, we have already achieved some great successes in the last collective bargaining rounds, which provide a good framework for the next negotiations. But negotiations are always a bit of a surprise bag – we'll see what's in store for us.

Ania: A higher level of organization among the workforce is essential for everything else. If we manage to build strong cohesion among the colleagues, we will also be better able to enforce our demands.

When are confidant​​​​​​​s elected at CARIAD and what do you want for the next four years?

Cindy: We are electing new confidants at the beginning of June 2024. I hope that we can recruit a lot of active and motivated colleagues so that we can implement projects relating to information, networking and internationality in particular. For this purpose, we also want to address topics such as diversity, women, parents, or the situation of international colleagues at CARIAD more strongly.

Ania: We also want to go more into the relevant communities to enable direct exchange there too. Above all, we want many new and, above all, committed colleagues who are keen to strengthen our multicultural confidants´ committee.

Finally, do you have any tips for other confidant​​​​​​​s (perhaps especially for female colleagues)?

Cindy: Just start and look for discussions, take advantage of the offers from IG Metall and, if possible, work closely together.

Ania: Make sure to attend the seminars for confidants and seek opportunities to network, not only there, as this is the essential aspect of the work as a confidant.


Cindy Fasanya, 29 years old, Project Manager for Operation & Support Tools and Product Owner, not a works council member, Head of Confidants (translators note: Board of the Shop Stewards' Committee) and Member of the Collective Bargaining Committee

Ania Peña Gauert, 42 years old, Product Owner for Content Management and Localization, not a Works Council member, Head of Confidants (translators note: Board of the Shop Stewards' Committee)

Created by: cm; fs

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