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Thyssenkrupp reaches out to unions after workers protest Tata Steel merger

Tata-Thyssenkrupp steel merger could cut up to 4,000 job cuts

Reuters  |  Frankfurt 

Thyssenkrupp steel workers hold a protest rally in Bochum, Germany, September 22, 2017 against the planned combination of the group's European steel operations with those of Tata Steel. Photo: Reuters
Thyssenkrupp steel workers hold a protest rally in Bochum, Germany, September 22, 2017 against the planned combination of the group's European steel operations with those of Tata Steel. Photo: Reuters

AG is to set up a joint working group of board members and labour representatives to help implement the plan to merge with Steel, it said in a statement on Saturday, issued after a supervisory board meeting.

The meeting was held after top management's move this week to sign a memorandum of understanding with for a 50-50 joint venture.

If approved, it would create Europe's second-biggest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal, with combined sales of about 15 billion euros.

The working group will consist of members of the executive boards of AG, Europe, which is the unit for the activities within the wider group, representatives of Thyssenkrupp's works councils and the works councils of the sites, the statement said.

The working group will be headed by Markus Grolms, deputy chairman of the supervisory board of AG and Oliver Burkhard, member of the executive board of AG, where he is chief human resources officer, it said.

AG Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger depends on the support of labour representatives, who hold half of the 20 seats on the group's supervisory board and have fiercely opposed the deal with

On Friday, several thousand workers took to the streets of Bochum in Germany's industrial heartland to protest against the deal, which would include up to 4,000 job cuts, about 8 percent of the combined workforce.

Opposition from Thyssenkrupp's workforce could mean prolonged negotiations with management and delay any approval of the plan by the supervisory board, scheduled for early next year.

If all labour representatives on the supervisory board vote against the plans, its chairman Ulrich Lehner could still push them through with his casting vote but it is Hiesinger's declared goal to get labour leaders to agree.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, September 23 2017. 23:17 IST
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