Everyone will be there on Friday: SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans is coming, federal labor minister Hubertus Heil, Greens federal manager Michael Kellner and left-wing parliamentary group leader Amira Mohamed Ali too. Even someone from the CDU, the member of the Bundestag, Thomas Heilmann, comes, and vice-chairman Johannes Vogel has at least been asked by the FDP. They all accept the invitation to a “political breakfast” in Berlin’s government district with IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann in Berlin’s government district.
The action in the capital, to which 900 trade unionists are expected, is part of an IG Metall action day. Under the motto “Fair Change – Social, Ecological, Democratic”, the industrial union calls on its members to take to the streets for actions in more than 50 cities. The largest German trade union with almost 2.3 million members wants to put pressure on the future governing parties so that they decide as much as possible in their coalition negotiations. At the top of the wish list is a large investment program. IG Metall is calling for 500 billion euros by 2030 in this regard.
»We are in the middle of the transformation of our industries. We now need high investments, future-proof reorganization of business models and the expansion of renewable energies, “Hofmann justified a few days ago when he called for the new federal government to” act quickly “on its announcements. »So that Germany remains an industrial country in the future. Hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country depend on it «, says Hofmann.
Investments amounting to half a trillion euros for the energy turnaround and site security may sound like a very big demand, but IG Metall has a broad alliance behind it. It is not only supported by the rest of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB). The Greens and the SPD also want to take more or less the same amount into their hands.
The industrial union, for example, also has the environmental association BUND on its side. At the end of last week, for example, they both published a joint statement on a speedy mobility and energy transition. This is noteworthy for the simple reason that the relationship between IG Metall and the environmental associations was considered to be rather distant for a long time. But since it is now about the promotion of new, climate-friendly technologies, we meet again. As early as 2019, IG Metall called on its members to take to the streets for a social and ecological restructuring of the industry.
“For a sustainable improvement in the situation, the vehicles must be converted to emission-free drives,” it says in their joint paper. In passenger transport, direct electrification is the efficient alternative to the combustion engine; what is needed here above all is an expansion of the charging infrastructure and investments in battery cells.
Such demands are also made in the employers’ camp. Some time ago, VW boss Herbert Diess attracted attention when, as the most important German car manager, he announced on Twitter that only tangible measures would advance decarbonization and he called for an end to subsidies for fossil fuels. But if VW converts its production to electromobility, then an expansion of the charging infrastructure will also bring something to Diess at the expense of the state. The VW boss is also calling for mandatory targets for fast charging and maintaining the purchase bonus for electric vehicles.
It is therefore not surprising when the BDI industry association also holds up its hands and calls for an investment offensive. In industry, “much more public start-up funding is needed,” writes the BDI in a study. More than in any other sector, the technologies required to reduce emissions are currently not competitive in industry. Overall, the BDI expects an investment requirement of 860 billion euros by 2030. BDI and IG Metall sometimes approach politics together to demand money together. Because what secures the business location on the one hand, also preserves jobs on the other.
If all of this is still in the interests of climate protection, then you also have the environmental associations on your side. In this respect, IG Metall is demanding a lot of money, but it also has many actors on its side.