German industrial giant Siemens is looking for a compromise to balance the interests of shareholders and employees as it plans a wholesale restructuring of its power-generation division.
This is according to a senior manager who spoke to Reuters anonymously. The manager said Siemens would do its best to handle the overhaul in a socially responsible way. "Maybe you have to give up a percentage point of margin to give people some perspective," he said, adding that management and labour representatives would likely start negotiations in earnest in the second half of November.
The Munich-based group is expected to cut thousands of jobs as demand has collapsed for large turbines that have been replaced by renewable energy in Germany.
News of the likely cutbacks has sparked outrage in Germany, where many Siemens Power and Gas division plants are in the economically-deprived east of the country.
Global demand for large gas turbines has roughly halved since 2017, Siemens estimates, while production capacity is more than three times what the market needs.
Siemens, whose business range extends from trains to factory software, makes about a fifth of its revenues from its power and gas division.
The manager said Siemens could consider keeping plants open in eastern cities and towns such as Erfurt and Goerlitz in exchange for some job cuts in larger centres such as Berlin and Muehlheim in the Ruhr valley where workers have more choices.