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SRAM: Restructuring Plans Undone?

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SCHWEINFURT, Germany (10 January) – There has been an informative meeting between SRAM Germany MD Kai-Uwe Rüde, the works council and a representative of IG Metall (the Union). Union leader Kippes gave a statement to the ‘Schweinfurter Tagblatt’ that “there is still hope that the shift (to the Czech republic) won’t take place.” SRAM Germany […]

SCHWEINFURT, Germany (10 January) – There has been an informative meeting between SRAM Germany MD Kai-Uwe Rüde, the works council and a representative of IG Metall (the Union). Union leader Kippes gave a statement to the ‘Schweinfurter Tagblatt’ that “there is still hope that the shift (to the Czech republic) won’t take place.” SRAM Germany MD Rüde allegedly had indicated in that direction. A new concept will be presented to the council and the union at the end of this month. One thing is clear tough: “it cannot be that everything will stay untouched. There will be cuts.” The negotiation climate was said to be ‘good’.
SRAM is planning to lay off 161 employees during a restructuring period that will take place over a 2 to 3 year period. 10 December 2002, exactly five years after signing the contracts with the city council of Schweinfurt, which through the state of Bavaria provided 15% of the costs for the construction of SRAM’s German facility, SRAM President and CEO Stan Day informed the Work Council of his German factory about the restructuring of the Schweinfurt facility. The mayor and the city council univocally expressed its astonishment about the decision and will, as the ‘Schweinfurter Tageszeitung’ recently formulated it, support with full solidarity the ‘battle by the SRAM employees and their unions to save the 161 workers’ places.’
In addition to the support of the employees, mayor Grieser also announced to take all appropriate measures to reverse the decision by the SRAM management, or at least reduce the decision’s reach. The mayor pointed at the efforts taken five years ago to host SRAM: a construction-ready building site, surrounding infrastructure (streets, energy, waste disposal) were supplied by the city, the State of Bavaria gave millions for general employment measures, and the German central government supported the anti-dumping claims against Shimano.
The mayor also stated that she will investigate the rightfulness of these supports when faced with the fact that SRAM has taken a decision which will work out to the contrary of what was intended. The socialist representative in the council stated that in a case this size, the authorities should ‘never accept that they have been buggered around.’ (OB)

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