Over 100 employees from Glencore’s Nordenham facility staged a demonstration in Berlin, pressing the German government for an electricity price cap to safeguard their jobs in energy-intensive industries. The rally, under the slogan “Bridge electricity price now!”, was organized by the metalworkers’ union Industriegewerkschaft Metall.
Urgent Call for Government Action
Klaus Garlichs, the Works Council Chairman at the zinc smelter, highlighted the jeopardy facing their jobs due to the ongoing energy crisis. He emphasized the need for the government to intervene, ensuring electricity prices in Germany are competitive internationally, similar to efforts in France and Spain.Jochen Luitjens, Managing Director of IG Metall Wesermarsch, echoed these concerns. He stressed the acute impact of high energy prices on energy-intensive companies and called for immediate governmental measures to offer relief until renewable energy sources become more prevalent in Germany.
Demands for a Targeted Relief Package
The metalworkers’ union critiqued the current electricity price package from the coalition government as insufficient. They demanded targeted improvements to prevent the loss of well-paid, collectively agreed jobs. Thomas Hüser, Managing Director of Glencore Nordenham, commended the strong message sent to the federal government through the protest. He emphasized the necessity of a future-oriented action plan to restore competitive production levels in Germany’s energy-intensive industries.
IG Metall’s Vision for Sustainable Support
IG Metall’s proposal for a price cap includes conditions ensuring benefits only for companies adhering to collective wage agreements, securing jobs and location, and investing in transformation. The union also advocated for continued governmental investment in ecological restructuring of the economy, aligning with the recent Federal Constitutional Court’s decision.
This rally underscores the critical juncture faced by energy-intensive industries in Germany, balancing the demands of economic sustainability and climate protection goals.