Co-determination: Thyssenkrupp: Supervisory board in favour of entry of energy company

Co-determination: Thyssenkrupp: Supervisory board in favour of entry of energy company

The Thyssenkrupp Supervisory Board has voted in favor of Czech entrepreneur Kretinsky joining Germany’s largest steel company. The employee side was completely against it.

On Thursday, the supervisory board of the industrial group Thyssenkrupp approved a 20 percent stake in the steel division for the energy company EPCG. The decision was made with the second voting rights of the chairman of the supervisory board against the votes of the employee representatives, as Thyssenkrupp announced. At the end of April, the board reached a fundamental agreement with EPCG about joining.

The EPCG holding belongs to the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. The strategic partnership is primarily about energy supplies. Among other things, he owns all or part of the lignite companies Mibrag and Leag in eastern Germany, which in future want to increasingly generate climate-neutral electricity from renewable energies. Slovakia’s largest electricity producer, Slovenske elektrarny, also belongs to his corporate conglomerate. Kretinsky is also the largest shareholder in the wholesaler Metro. The EPCG share is to be increased to 50 percent in the future and the steel division is to become independent.

The Thyssenkrupp steel division is Germany’s largest steel company. Around 27,000 people work there, 13,000 of them in Duisburg alone. Against the backdrop of economic weakness and high energy costs, production capacities in Duisburg are to be significantly reduced, which will involve job cuts. However, details of this are still unclear.

IG Metall: Risks of the sale are completely unclear

IG Metall expressed its horror at the supervisory board’s decision. The risks arising from the sale are completely unclear, explained the second chairman of IG Metall, Jürgen Kerner. He is also deputy chairman of the supervisory board of Thyssenkrupp AG.

“The steel board is currently working on a restructuring concept that will probably result in the loss of thousands of jobs.” Billions would be required for the restructuring. “Thyssenkrupp AG is abdicating its responsibility for its employees even before the plan for the steel sector is even available.”

The employee side expressly welcomes EPCG’s willingness to get involved in steel, Kerner continued. “We also understand that Mr. Kretinsky would like to gain insight into the development of the new plan.” However, this does not require a hasty approach or an immediate 20 percent stake. “Rather, prudence and clarity are now required.” Instead, there is wild activism to send the steel sector into independence. “This will meet with our fierce resistance,” he continued.

Thyssenkrupp: Strategic partnership is an important step

Thyssenkrupp, however, expressed confidence. “The entry of EPCG combines the leading materials know-how of Thyssenkrupp Steel Europe with the energy expertise of EPCG,” it said. The transaction is expected to be completed in the current financial year. “The strategic partnership with EPCG is an important step towards ensuring resilient, cost-efficient and climate-friendly steel production from Thyssenkrupp Steel – and thus also a significant contribution to securing the steel industry in Germany,” the company said.

Before the meeting, several thousand employees demonstrated at lunchtime for more say and transparency in important company decisions. IG Metall criticized that it did not know enough about EPCG’s planned entry to be able to approve it in the supervisory board. “A restructuring of Thyssenkrupp AG against the people will not succeed,” said group works council chairman Tekin Nasikkol. There must be an end to “the course against co-determination”.

López: Still no redundancies

CEO Miguel López also spoke at the rally. “We want to create socially acceptable solutions in constructive cooperation with employee representatives,” said López. “There should continue to be no redundancies for operational reasons. But we have to act so that steel from Duisburg continues to have a perspective.” There were numerous hecklers during López’s speech.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts