The SPÖ Upper Austria continues to advocate state participation in the planned closure of the MAN plant in Steyr in Upper Austria. This was confirmed by state chairwoman Birgit Gerstorfer in a press conference together with the works council on Thursday in front of the factory gates. The latter is invited to talks about a social plan for the employees next Monday, but he wants to talk about the continued existence of all jobs.
According to the title of the press conference, Gerstorfer emphasized "Cohesion in hard times: Together against job theft and wage dumping", the SPÖ stands on the side of the works council and the workforce. "It now takes a solidarity and honestly a show of strength". In addition to the jobs at risk and the fate of those affected, she also referred to the overall economic importance of the plant and its suppliers. If the market cannot regulate everything during the crisis, the state must step in and take responsibility. That is why politics must stop moderating and start shaping. She spoke out in favor of the state and the federal government and drew attention to the fact that in Germany the state of Lower Saxony was involved in the parent company VW. The public sector could participate in the short term, temporarily and in a supportive manner for the development of green, affordable mobility suitable for series production. Politicians could afford it, after all, it would also create value for the republic. The SPÖ club chairman in the state parliament, Michael Lindner, announced a request to governor Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP) in the upcoming meeting regarding efforts to locate MAN - “not as a political settlement”, but as “cards on the table”.
Strike as a last resort
The workers' works council Helmut Emler and the employee works council Thomas Kutsam assured that the workforce representatives are ready to talk to the MAN management and all possible investors who are presenting an industrial concept to prevent the closure and to offer work. However, in the end, the framework conditions for employees would have to be right. That was not the case with the takeover concept from investor Siegfried Wolf, which is why around two thirds of the workforce rejected it.
They confirmed that they had been invited to negotiations on a new social plan for the employees of the MAN plant in Steyr next Monday. However, they would have asked that the owner should sit at the table, but did not receive any feedback for the time being. When asked, Emler stated that the strike was the last resort. "It may well be that some in Munich are offended after the vote, but the owner is interested in the trucks coming to the customers."
Earlier, the State Economic Councilor Markus Achleitner (ÖVP) had warned against using the future of the plant in Steyr and the employees for party political purposes. That would be anything but beneficial. One is in constant contact with the top of the supervisory board and executive board of VW as well as MAN board chairman Andreas Tostmann. There are also talks with the MAN works council as well as the city politics in Steyr and those interested in investments Siegfried Wolf and Karl Egger, closely coordinated with Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and the responsible ministers as well as with representatives of the social partners. (apa)