Union Employees Concerned Over Losing Jobs As Shift Towards E-Mobility Occurs
AUG 24 2017 BY ERIC LOVEDAY
In Germany, that is.
It seems there’s quite the concern in Germany over the transition to electric car.
Concerns are being voiced by automotive union representatives now. These reps want guarantees, but it seems unlikely any promises will be made.
Local media source Handelsblatt states:
“The works council at Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz factory in Untertürkheim imposed a ban on overtime hours, effective immediately. Union representatives want guarantees the plant will be used to be build parts for EQ cars, Mercedes’ new electric brand. “Our future is closely linked to the future of Mercedes power trains,” said Wolfgang Nieke, head of the works council, who represents about 19,000 workers.”
That occurred in early July. The overtime ban was unexpected due to the fact that in 2016, workers at that site clocked over one million overtime hours. Union reps are concerned that as the switch to electric occurs, some plants will be shuddered or perhaps become increasingly automated, thus eliminating jobs.
“Other German carmakers are nervous. Staff at Audi, BMW and Volkswagen have expressed concern over what experts say will be enormous upheaval in the automotive industry. For the next few years, factories like Untertürkheim will still work flat out to produce combustion engine cars. But considering Dieselgate and the hype surrounding Tesla, German carmakers are focused on ramping up electric production.”
There is evidence to support the job-loss claims that occur when shifting from ICE to electric. The simplicity of electric cars means fewer parts and easier to produce. This in turns means less employees are required. However, there’s nothing to suggest that those lost jobs in some areas won’t result in job creation in others (particularly cell production, battery packaging and electric motors), not to mention the creation of tons of new, different engineering positions.