“Luxury cars alone do not secure jobs”

Jörg Hofmann, 67, has been the first chairman of Germany’s largest trade union, IG Metall, since 2015.
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IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann on the lack of affordable e-cars, delivery times like in the GDR and the economic advantages of the four-day week.

Mr. Hofmann, an IG Metall survey of works councils showed that in the auto state of Baden-Württemberg, almost every second automotive supplier is relocating jobs abroad. Which jobs are migrating and where?

Marcus Theurer

Editor in the economy of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper.

No type of job is spared. It used to be simple jobs that migrated to low-wage countries. In the meantime, even the start of production for complex products from the supplier industry no longer takes place in Germany. Research and development jobs are also increasingly being relocated to China or North America.

Do you have specific examples?

Especially the big companies relocate. ZF Friedrichshafen, the third largest German auto parts supplier, started producing essential components for the electric car in Serbia and not in Germany. And it is also more than uncertain whether production of the new high-tech on-board computer from ZF will start in Germany. This is an example for many of the supplier groups. What you have to give ZF credit for, however, is that there is a joint effort to secure the future of all locations through a collective agreement. It is often said: Workforces are being reduced, locations are being closed – new employment through new value creation in Germany is not recognizable. But that’s exactly what we need: investments in the future of the factories instead of the wrecking ball.

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