MAN plant in Steyr: takeover or closure
Posted On March 13, 2021
In the negotiations around the MAN location in Steyr, the clock is ticking, the headquarters in Munich are apparently accelerating: While the workforce is hoping for an offer from the last group of bidders around Linz entrepreneur Karl Egger (KeKelit), people around them say from MAN that there are only negotiations with the investor Siegfried Wolf. If an agreement cannot be reached quickly with him, closing the site is the only alternative.
In the end, the negotiations with Wolf seemed to be in the home stretch, apparently only the approval of the workforce was missing. According to workers’ works council Erich Schwarz, talks will now be held with Wolf behind closed doors. The media had reported that it was about the high wages of MAN employees in Steyr. The workforce representation, in turn, apparently struggles with Wolf’s Russia connections. MAN and Wolf had met many of the demands of the employees, but the works council at the Steyr site was jeopardizing a solution by repeatedly delaying a deal, according to the MAN environment.
A works meeting has now been scheduled for March 24th at MAN Steyr, reported the “Oberösterreichische Nachrichten” (OÖN) on Saturday. The workforce is to be informed in detail about Wolf’s plans. According to reports, Wolf and a representative of the MAN Board of Management will present the prospects. Works council chairman Schwarz and employee works council chairman Thomas Kutsam present their assessment. According to the newspaper, the acceptance of the purchase plans will then be voted on in a strike ballot. The exact voting mode will only be defined. The vote should apparently be made in writing and a few days after the works meeting.
From 2023 trucks are to be assembled in Steyr for the Russian GAZ (a subsidiary of Russian Machines). However, from the current perspective, the number of employees is around 1,000 below the current one. Wages would also be reduced significantly because Wolf would no longer pay the performance bonuses granted by MAN. For those who are not taken over by Wolf, there is a social plan on the table, it says in the “OÖN”.
The workforce representation is apparently more likely to be toying with a group of Upper Austrian entrepreneurs under the leadership of Eggers, in which the former Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ) and Siemens Austria boss Wolfgang Hesoun should also be involved. According to Schwarz, these potential buyers appeared around three weeks ago, and they are now waiting for a promising concept. This is exactly what one misses at MAN. It was emphasized that there would be no conversations with other people who were interested in the matter. According to reports, the group, which is being advised by the law firm Lansky / Ganzger, is planning a “Green Mobility Center” with a focus on e-mobility.
MAN plans to close the plant in Steyr in 2023 as part of a group-wide savings program. 2,300 employees would be affected. Workers and politicians insist that the site is profitable and that there are site security contracts. These should actually have guaranteed the stock until 2030, but this was canceled by MAN. Since the mother’s savings plans became known, a solution for Steyr has been struggled with.