Monday, March 27

Saarlouis includes the 20,000 Ford employees in Germany in its cut offer and increases the pressure on Almussafes

We have been told quite clearly that Valencia (Ford Almussafes) has significant advantages over our plant (Saarlouis), especially in terms of staff cost. This is one of the reasons why we, as a general works council and unanimously with all the works councils of the facilities, have informed the European (Ford) management in writing that in Germany we are all together to compete for saving the Saarlouis plant. By itself I wouldn’t stand a chance in this lopsided competition And we can only preserve and secure long-term jobs by working together.”

They are statements of Martin Henning, president of the general company committee of Ford Germany, included in a letter addressed to the entire staff of the multinational in the country, some 20,000 employees. The document, to which this newspaper has had access, is dated December 9, 2021, shortly after the fierce war of cuts to which the blue oval brand launched Saarlouis and Almussafes emerged. for get awards from new electric models. The movement increases the pressure on the Valencian plant, by compensating for the higher salaries (the Germans earn a third more) with more workers to be cut, since quadruples at once any cut that the Saar plant alone could have offered, where some 5,000 people work. In Almussafes there are just over 6,000 jobs, so Germany strikes down this slight Valencian advantage with a stroke of the pen.

Saarlouis keeps silent

Precisely this Wednesday, the German metal union and the works councils of Ford Saarlouis offered the first press conference since last Thursday, January 27, the deadline to present the adjustment plans that both locations had to deliver to the European management. so that this in turn sends them to Detroit. The world center will issue a sentence at the latest on June 30, five months that are expected to be very long for both templates. But confidentiality, which is being the protagonist of this reverse auction, continues to prevail and nothing has been known about what was signed by Saarlouis. The German social representatives have criticized the fratricidal struggle to which both factories have been pushed, they have defended that both could be viable and have advanced a “hard fight” if the company does not assign them new electric models.

German unions also avoid reporting their Ford deal but advance battle if they don’t receive workload

The negotiators and the public administrations of both sides look at each other out of the corner of their eyes at all times, even with the pre-agreements already delivered to Colonia, and nobody wants to be the first to reveal their offer for fear that the other will surpass it. “We have not heard anything of what is being negotiated in Valencia and we cannot improve it if necessary”, warned Hennig in the letter. But since then more news has come out of Almussafes than from Saarlouis and for that same reason UGT continues without airing what was offered to the European leadership. Only a small UGT delegation traveled there and the rest of the unions (STM-Intersindical, CC OO and CGT) have not even been informed of the preliminary agreement reached. “When everything happens, it will be understood,” say sources from the majority union.

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The offer is not in Detroit

As this newspaper has learned, Almussafes’ offer is “very specific”, something that does not happen with the German. This lack of definition worries the UGT, which understands that the ambiguity of Saarlouis could give rise to modify its proposal if it transcends the Valencian one before. In that sense, sources very close to the process assure that the documents have not yet crossed the pond to Detroit. According to these sources, the European leadership is making sure that both proposals for cuts comply with the law and that once this “purification process” is completed, they will be sent to the world headquarters.