Lg metall warns of the consequences of a rapid conversion to electric vehicles

lg metall warns of the consequences of a rapid conversion to electric vehicles

IG metall believes that the european union’s new emissions targets will lead to significant job losses and unforeseeable social consequences in germany.

In his opinion, a quota of almost 50 percent of new registrations of electric vehicles in germany would be necessary in order to comply with the european CO2 limit that will apply from 2030, the union’s first president, jorg hofmann, told the german press agency. Because of the lower production depth compared to internal combustion engines, nearly one in five jobs in the german lead industry is at risk.

"We reckon with about 200.000 jobs that are no longer available in the industry as a result of electromobility. This will hit certain regions extremely hard," the union boss said. These are, for example, the saarland, emden, or rural regions where suppliers are often the only industrial employers. These were hit even harder than the brand manufacturers themselves. In contrast, there were just 30.000 to 40.000 new jobs for electromobility components, if they were manufactured in germany.

The companies are now changing course and will probably have to take even more radical action than previously announced, for example at VW, said hofmann. The carmaker could lose up to 7,000 jobs in total when it ramps up production of the stromer at its sites in emden and hanover. At the same time, the necessary electricity infrastructure is unclear, as is the question of whether customers will actually be willing to buy electric vehicles on the terms that will then apply, hofmann said. Currently, the price of batteries, for example, is rising dramatically.

Decisions on job cuts have now been made, hofmann warned. If electromobility doesn’t work out, jobs will certainly not return. "No one should believe that germany will once again invest in classic incinerator technology. The jobs are permanently lost. A game of vabanque is being played with a completely open outcome."

Hofmann advocates review of climate targets no later than 2024 interim target. "Unfortunately, politicians have now given a lot of thought to target values and little to the social consequences."In his opinion, it is no longer possible to cushion the job losses solely through demographic changes in the workforce.

He sees the companies as responsible for qualifying their employees for new activities, hofmann explained. In addition, a new type of transformation short-time allowance is necessary, which can be paid to retrainers for up to 36 months. This benefit should be financed by the companies and the federal employment agency. In this case, the employees were affected with a deduction from their previous salary as their own contribution. The aim is to cushion the impact by means of additional benefits under collective bargaining agreements.

In the short term, the head of IG metall does not foresee any major economic problems for the german metal and electrical industry. The basic economic data are all positive, but there are considerable external risks, such as brexit, the trade conflict between the USA and china, and the uncertainties surrounding the stability of the european union.

In the metal and electrical industry, which employs around 3.9 million people, there will be no collective bargaining next year due to the long-running contract. At present, however, IG metall is fighting over wages and working conditions for employees in the textile and steel industries. Hofmann announced his intention to create more time freedom for employees in the coming years. "We are considering: how can we continue on this path to create such electoral options. In principle, collective bargaining agreements will open up more options for working hours to individuals in the future."


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