“Implement short-time work more consistently instead of dismissing people”

IG Metall rates the job cuts surprisingly planned by Opel partner Segula as a “slap in the face of the employees”. Unlike the management, she sees opportunities through more short-time work.

Protest: Before parts of the Opel development center were sold to Segula, works councils raised doubts about the automotive supplier - now there is a risk of job cuts at Segula

Mith his video-broadcast message of planned cuts in the workforce, the managing director of Opel partner Segula disturbs the workforce in Rüsselsheim and Dudenhofen im Rodgau. Martin Lange, as the head of the French auto supplier in Germany, announced in an eight-minute speech on Monday evening that around 300 employees are currently and will not be adequately supplied with tasks for the foreseeable future. Short-time work will therefore not be enough to compensate for the underutilization of 20 to 30 percent. “I wouldn’t have expected it like this a year ago,” said Lange.

At the beginning of last year, the automotive supplier took over parts of the Opel development center in Rüsselsheim and the test track of the car manufacturer in Dudenhofen. 750 employees switched from the brand with the lightning bolt to Segula. Originally it should have been 2000. 1300 chose a severance payment from Opel, went into early retirement or switched to partial retirement. Along with Dudenhofen, Rüsselsheim is by far the company’s largest location in Germany, where it has a total of 1,100 employees.

“Made an enormous contribution”

“The works council and the workforce reacted with incomprehension to the form of communication chosen by the Segula management,” says a message from IG Metall Darmstadt. Some of the workforce has been on short-time work since April. “By participating in mobile work and the double burden of childcare, the workforce has made an enormous contribution to cushioning the effects of the corona pandemic for Segula,” emphasizes the union. All employees are flexible in order to work through the ongoing projects successfully.

In view of this, it is “a slap in the face of the employees” to have to find out about the job cuts via a video message on YouTube. “Based on the information presented, we cannot understand how the management comes to the number of up to 300 employees. The means of short-time work must be implemented more consistently in order to cope with the current underutilization ”, Lars Kotscha, chairman of the works council of Segula Technologies, is quoted by the union.

Segula cannot simply cut jobs in southern Hesse. Because the company has concluded a collective agreement with IG Metall, which stipulates protection against redundancies for operational reasons until the end of July 2023. Opel had previously promised its employees this. Segula committed to this goal, among other things, before the takeover.