Georg Knill, President of the Federation of Industry, does not believe that the state should participate in the MAN plant in Steyr. "What should the state contribute - it has no product, it has no market, it brings no added value," said Knill in the "Salzburger Nachrichten". The concept of the entrepreneur Siegfried Wolf would have been conclusive, "I am very surprised at the reaction of the employees", who rejected the concept with a two-thirds majority, says the industrialist.
You can only discuss "an employee foundation that can temporarily take over something to give the concept the final touch," said Knill. Those responsible should sit down at a table and look for solutions together. But at MAN the wages are 40 to sometimes even 60 percent above the collective agreement level. “It is obvious that this is not competitive.” The collective agreement in the automotive industry is already “very good. I have absolutely no understanding that the taxpayer should pay for these privileges, ”says Knill in favor of lowering wages.
Knill also questions the role of the works council and trade union in the rejection, "especially in view of the fact that SPÖ leader Rendi-Wagner shortly afterwards demanded that the state step in".
Reconstruction plan positive
Knill sees the government's announced reconstruction plan as positive. With the rain of money from Brussels for Austria, but also for neighboring countries, “there is great potential for Austrian companies”.
Knill assumes that there will be extensive openings in the economy nationwide in mid-May. Even if individual industries such as aviation might still need exceptions, he is basically of the opinion that there should be no more Corona short-time work from July. However, one should "find a variant (short-time work) that can be used after Covid".
Vaccination is the only solution to get out of the pandemic, according to Knills. The wish that the export-oriented industry should be taken into account in the second phase of vaccination had not been heard. But “leftover” vaccines are also distributed very arbitrarily, often not to important population groups. In order to vaccinate “key workers” quickly, ten percent of the workforce would be enough. There was a proposal to give ten percent of the next delivery of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, if it can be vaccinated, to the industry. In any case, he “fully understands” when companies have employees abroad vaccinated in order to prevent them from losing market share and sales.
Overall, Knill assumes that 2021 will be a year of boom in China, the USA, but also in Europe. “In any case, by 2022 we will have compensated for the losses from the crisis. If the vaccination is quick and the government sets the course for the future, we are full of confidence. "(Apa)