New job destruction plans at Bosch and ZF - Automotive workers challenged to fight for every job

Documented from 24 January 2024: "The Bosch Board of Management is causing unrest among the people in the region around Stuttgart: First it was 1500, then 1200 and finally 500 jobs that are to be destroyed here in particular. ZF, based in Friedrichshafen, also wants to cut 12,000 jobs in Germany in the coming years, according to the General Works Council.¹ And Mercedes-Benz is "examining" the sale of its own branches with 8,000 employees!

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Demo bei ZF mit Transparent Solidaritaet gewinnt.jpg

The fact that engineers in particular are affected by the job losses at Bosch undermines the capitalist lie that a good education protects against unemployment. The planned destruction of 1,500 jobs was first justified by the Board of Management with the switch from combustion engine drive technology to e-mobility. What is not said is that Bosch wants to use the leap in productivity associated with e-mobility to further maximize profits.

Younger colleagues were encouraged to retrain as software specialists. This is why many are now offended that Bosch wants to reduce investment in autonomous driving and therefore jobs. According to capitalist logic, the "development of fully automated driving is not paying off as expected".²

The workforce at automotive supplier ZF is also "seething"¹. On January 17, 3,000 employees from various locations, together with their colleagues at the main plant, marched through the city center of Friedrichshafen to the offices of the Group management with banners, whistles and lit Bengalos. They will not accept the plant closures in Gelsenkirchen (end of 2024) and Eitdorf (2027) and the job destruction plans without a fight. Tanja Veit, Works Council representative in Gelsenkirchen, points out that the entire city is affected by the plant closure. "It is very important that we stick together here".² And Okur, IGM shop steward in Mannheim: "We have to show our colors today and set an example. Because anyone who attacks one of us attacks us all."²

The General Works Council at Mercedes-Benz has criticized the recently announced plans to sell off its own branches, which will affect 8,000 employees. This is because there is growing resentment among the workforce about the job losses that have been going on for some time. Temporary workers in particular have little hope of being taken on because they are among the first to be "deregistered", i.e. made redundant, as has already happened in many plants.

The works council leadership is calling for an early extension of job security at Mercedes-Benz for a further five years until 2035 for the permanent workforce.

But the employment safeguards have not stopped the Mercedes board from destroying 3,000 jobs in the company last year or from throwing out several thousand temporary workers. The MLPD is therefore helping its colleagues to come to terms with this reformist tactic. Lead the struggle for every job in an offensive manner. For this they need clarity that it is not supposed or actual environmental protection measures that endanger their jobs, but the policy of profit maximization by monopolies with the support of the state. We are also committed to defending the right to strike in Germany, which is limited to collective bargaining rounds, and are also fighting for a universal and complete legal right to strike. For the offensive struggle for the 30-hour week with full wage compensation aOriginal in Germannd with the perspective of genuine socialism, in which crises are a thing of the past and the progress in productivity benefits society and the protection of nature."

Sources & Links

¹ Stuttgarter Zeitung, 19.1.24

2 Stuttgarter Zeitung, 23.1.24



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