Maintal: Warning strike with a motorcade: Norma workforce defends itself against job cuts


Numerous people took part in the car parade

© Rainer Habermann

Things are getting serious at Norma, the signs are on strike. According to Robert Weißenbrunner, the first authorized representative of IG Metall Hanau-Fulda, the decision of the IGM board of directors for a primary election for the purpose of standing out has been made by the Maintaler automotive supplier Norma Group Germany.

Maintal – Yesterday (September 16, 2020) the union started its second three-hour warning strike in the Norma conflict, this time in the form of a car parade. A first took place on September 2nd. Around noon, a good 100 cars and motorbikes gathered at the Maintalbad between Dörnigheim and Hochstadt and drove in a closed column, led by police vehicles, over the B8 to Offenbach, where a rally was planned.

There were then around 500 participants, as an IG Metall congress with several hundred trade unionists from Hesse, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate and Thuringia was also meeting at the same time in an event location on Sprendlinger Landstrasse. Along the parade route via the B8, the Hanauer Landstrasse, the A661 motorway and in the western Offenbach city area, there were some short traffic jams and obstructions around lunchtime; as well as on the return of the column in the early afternoon.

IG Metall wants to draw attention to the conflict with the Norma Group with a motorcade in Maintal

With the car parade campaign, the IGM also wants to draw the public’s attention to the smoldering conflict with the employer Norma Group, a manufacturer of fasteners as a supplier to the automotive industry with branches in Maintal and Gerbershausen (Thuringia), among others. The group plans to cut over 160 jobs in Maintal and to completely close the branch in Thuringia (we reported in detail several times).

Taking a stand: Robert Weißenbrunner (left) from IG Metall Hanau-Fulda and Herbert Hept, city councilor for the Maintal alternative election.

© PM

The corporate plans are also to be seen in connection with similar requests from other automotive suppliers, such as Continental, where considerable job cuts and plant closings are also in preparation. At Norma it is specifically about a social wage agreement for the employees and a “future pact” in which IG Metall wants to see its demands implemented. Collective bargaining minimum severance pay for dismissals and operational termination agreements of three gross monthly wages per year of employment are the first prerequisite for an agreement from the IGM’s point of view.

Demand from IG Metall members for Norma employees from Maintal: Increase in the minimum severance pay

In addition, there is a bonus scheme for IG Metall members by increasing the minimum severance pay according to the collective agreement by twice the value of the union fees paid during the period of employment at Norma. In addition, financing of transfer measures and transfer company by the employer for at least twelve months, as well as the right to transfer to a transfer company for everyone after the end of the individual notice periods and the employment relationship with a minimum additional payment of 80 percent of the gross monthly salary.

A “qualification budget” of at least 5,000 euros per head completes the IGM’s catalog of requirements. The employer side has so far not moved in any way, according to the works council chairman at the Maintal plant, Klaus Dippel.

The Norma employees get mobile: A motorcade to Offenbach was used to demonstrate against the planned job cuts.

© Rainer Habermann

At the rally in front of the event location Fredenhagen in Offenbach, the head of the IG Metall-Mitte district, Jörg Köhlinger, and Weißenbrunner spoke. “We see a broad solidarity with the Norma employees at other companies in the industry,” said Weißenbrunner, summing up the second warning strike.

Further negotiations between IGM and Norma are planned for Wednesday, September 23rd and Saturday, September 26th. The outcome of this depends on whether a primary election takes place in which the workforce organized in the IGM decides on a limited or unlimited strike.

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