“Loewe investor must hold on to kronach”

Uncertainty and fear currently dominate the picture among employees of the kronach-based television manufacturer loewe. After reports circulated in the media on monday that loewe was planning to relocate production to asia, the management reacted promptly. There was a staff meeting called at short notice this week. Chairman of the board of management matthias harsch endeavored to dispel some of the rumors that had spread during his interview with the news magazine "der spiegel" by presenting facts about the creditor protection proceedings had triggered a reaction among the employees.

"We are no longer an equipment manufacturer, and i’m trying to talk the company out of that too. Our topic is entertainment" – this was harsh in the "spiegel has been quoted. It sounded a bit like a quiet farewell to the kronach production site. Not true, said loewe. Only the entry-level range would be affected by a possible relocation. High-end manufacturing will definitely stay in kronach. This refers to the reference id and individual lines.

So far so good, one might think. But the restructuring plan drawn up in the spring, as a result of which 180 employees were given compulsory redundancy notices, is already falling on the television manufacturer’s feet again. The market trend is worse than was thought at the time. Turnover has collapsed. Loewe managers, consultants and lawyers are currently working on a new restructuring plan. What this will look like is still completely open.

The collective restructuring agreement applies

the collective restructuring agreement negotiated in the spring with the works council and ig metall is still in force. The company wants to keep to this target, harsch confirmed this week in front of the assembled workforce. Among other things, the agreement stipulates that employees work 35 hours per week, but are only paid for 33 hours. In return for this and other concessions, there was a guarantee of employment. "It won’t end until the restructuring agreement expires on the 28th. February 2015", said jurgen apfel, first authorized representative of ig metall in coburg and here responsible for the loewe company. Redundancies are not possible during this period. And "only we can cancel the contract", apple made clear. At the end of march 2014 at the earliest, there would be this possibility.

And if an investor wants to reduce staff even more? "The situation is extremely difficult for everyone", said apple. But nothing works without works council and trade union. "If they want to do something, they have to do it with us. Very important here: we want to have perspectives." an investor must want to hold on to the kronach site. "I think it’s unimaginative to try to cut staff again", said apple. But now we have to wait and see. "Speculation is useless."