Frankfurt Thousands of employees of the elevator division of Thyssen-Krupp traveled to Essen on Wednesday with flags and trumpets. For hours, the glass campus of the Ruhr Group presented itself in deep red colors – not least because of the red smoke flares that had set fire to some of the travelers to make clear where the wind blows for the recent protest in the afflicted company.
"No TC exit", says on a sign. "Merz, show 'heart' on another. Martina Merz has been the interim manager of the conglomerate for almost two months – the future development of Thyssen-Krupp AG depends on her.
And that worries union IG Metall, which had called the staff to the rally. The company is currently undergoing restructuring: The core of the project is to get Thyssen-Krupp out of its own financial crisis and finally set it up stable. Many businesses are running badly, the financial ceiling is paper thin. Thyssen-Krupp is the crisis case of German industry.
Merz has the task to reorganize the company. How this is to succeed, she has so far submitted no concrete plan. It is more of a strategy of small steps. Ultimately, however, the elevator business is sold partially or completely. This is followed by most of the subsidiaries of the components and plant engineering divisions.
Ultimately, the long-established company is driven back to what it never wanted to be in its over 200-year history: a pure steel company. After the sale of the other divisions, there is little more under the umbrella of the group than the so-called materials business, that is, material trading and steel production.
As in the case of the major Group strategy, the Management Board has so far provided hardly any details on the planned conversion for the steel division. After all, the division board now gave a little insight into what should happen to the huts. On Wednesday, he informed the workforce about his plans. "Finally," as an IG Metaller said.
Group lost ground
Organizationally, the Executive Board wants to divide the Steel Division into two units and tie them closer to the retailer. Thus, the production of crude steel is to be separated organisationally from the further processing of the steel. In the future, individual plants may be added, but others may also be shut down. The conversion is intended to improve the operating result for the year by 600 million euros.
From the regrouping, the group expects better access to customers. In particular, the customers from the automotive industry want to better address Thyssen-Krupp, as it says in a letter to the staff, which is the Handelsblatt.
In recent years, the company lost ground, above all to Arcelor-Mittal, because Europe's market leader was able to supply better grades. ThyssenKrupp also often had supply problems, according to industry sources. For the carmaker an abomination.
This residue is no coincidence. Thyssen-Krupp has invested too little money in steel activities for years due to a lack of financial resources. Even the headquarters in Duisburg, where on Tuesday about 6000 workers had protested for the future of their jobs, was held tight. It was the second major rally within a few days.
Thyssen-Krupp (t) Elevator Division (t) Steel (t) Martina Merz (t) IG Metal (t) Rationalization and Rehabilitation (t) Job losses (t) Labor market (t) Management (t) Arcelor-Mittal (t) t) Techniker Krankenkasse (t) Martina Merz (t) Metal and Steel Industry (t) Primary Iron & Steel