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Blackmailing of Osram employees criticised by GUE/NGL group


29 Jun 2009


Social Europe & Jobs

The GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament today strongly condemned "the massive blackmailing of employees of Osram in Molsheim/Alsace by their management".

Employees at this plant have been forced into giving up 12.5% of their salaries, because of the European Commission's latest decision to ban low-efficiency light bulbs from 1 September on. The pay cut is intended to compensate an expected decline in sales.

When some of the workers objected to this decision, the management reacted by dismissing 108 staff members. In a further development, Osram offered to withdraw the 108 dismissals provided that production was reduced in the main Osram facility in Berlin. Osram is a branch of the Siemens multinational group.

Thomas Händel, newly elected GUE/NGL MEP and trade unionist (IG Metall), said: "We have to struggle against this kind of cross-border blackmailing. A highly profitable company like Siemens should be forced into diversifying production and providing a long-term strategy that safeguards jobs."

Not only is Osram a part of the industrial branch of Siemens and its main sales pillar, but the company also stresses its commitment to corporate social responsibility and compliance. In its mission statement, the company commits itself to "abstaining from a business if it is not a clean business."

Francis Wurtz, outgoing President of the GUE/NGL group and a native of the French Alsace region, urges Siemens/Osram to "abstain from this rotten deal. The Left in Europe fully supports employees in Molsheim and Berlin in their endeavours to resist this form of blackmail."

Members of the IG Metall Trade Union at Siemens Works Council have also reacted and the issue will be discussed at its works council meeting today

Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28
Gay Kavanagh + 32 473 842 320
Sonja Giese +32 486 945 021


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