Company streamlines steel division: Thyssenkrupp employees fight for job guarantees

Company streamlines steel division
Thyssenkrupp employees are fighting for job guarantees

After the announcement of production cuts at Thyssenkrupp Steel, employee representatives are combative. According to the works council and IG Metall, discussions about reorganizing the company only take place under one condition: no redundancies for operational reasons.

At Germany’s largest steel manufacturer Thyssenkrupp Steel, employee representatives only want to talk about the planned capacity reductions if operational layoffs are ruled out beforehand. “Our prerequisite for negotiations on a realignment of the company is a strict exclusion of operational dismissals beyond March 2026,” explained the deputy chairman of the supervisory board of the steel division, Detlef Wetzel, according to a joint statement from the Steel general works council and IG Metall NRW.

At the moment, employment protection is in effect until the end of March 2026. The board of the steel division had announced that production capacities in Duisburg should be significantly reduced. This will also involve job cuts. “It is the declared goal to continue to avoid redundancies for operational reasons,” it said.

Around 27,000 people work in the division, including 13,000 in Duisburg. The production capacities at HKM, a Duisburg steel manufacturer in which Thyssenkrupp Steel has a 50 percent stake, should also be included in the considerations. Almost 3,000 people work at HKM.

“Future instead of dismissal”

The general works council chairman of the steel division, Tekin Nasikkol, spoke of a tough cut. “We demand the future instead of dismissal.” He referred to the collective agreement “Future Steel 20-30”, which regulates the preservation of the locations and the exclusion of operational-related dismissals until March 2026. “We’re not going to let that change, we’re drawing red lines.”

According to his own words, IG Metall district manager Knut Giesler sees a need for explanation to politicians at the federal and state levels. Last year, the company received a grant of two billion euros for the construction of the first direct reduction plant. “Nine months later, a structural realignment is announced, which will have an impact on thousands of jobs, including in the processing industries in North Rhine-Westphalia. This does not create trust.”

Thyssenkrupp must be aware of its responsibility for Duisburg, Bochum, Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen as well as for Sieger and Sauerland. “We will not accept that tens of thousands of people have to fear for their jobs.” Nasikkol referred to a staff meeting of all locations in Duisburg planned for April 30th. This should take place in the MSV Duisburg stadium. “We expect a large part of the 27,000 colleagues and will emphasize our demands.” The stadium has a capacity of 31,500 seats.

source site-32