Canadian-owned train and railway manufacturer Bombardier has agreed not to shut down any factories in Germany, but job losses are unavoidable. The firm aims to become more competitive in a tough market environment.
Bombardier and German worker representatives said Wednesday they had reached a deal that would see the firm shed some 2,200 jobs but stop site closures.
The positions in question were set to go by 2020 through voluntary redundancies and ending temporary contracts, both Bombardier and trade union IG Metall said in a statement.
They added that three factories in the eastern part of Germany producing rolling stock would heighten their specialization in different stages of manufacturing.
"With this program, Bombardier will become significantly more efficient and thus more competitive," said the company's rail chief in Germany, Michael Fohrer.
Looking beyond 2020
The deal marks the end of two years of hard negotiations between executives and worker representatives after it had become known that Bombardier was planning to slash 5,000 jobs worldwide.
Wednesday's agreement also includes a mechanism for joint decision-making with workers that "will create the conditions to make jobs and sites safe beyond 2020," works council chief Hans-Jürgen Korstian emphasized.
Bombardier is looking to stay on the rails in Europe as it confronts a major new competitor formed from a merger of France's Alstom and the rail operations of Germany's Siemens.
The Alstom-Siemens tie-up was itself a response to increased competition from China's giant CRCC.
hg/jd (AFP, dpa)