Bernhard Osburg on Heavy Plate Business Unit

Dear colleagues, 

End of last year, we presented to you the strategy 20-30. We have been discussing details of this future concept with the codetermination in regular working groups. In yesterday's working group, we informed about the latest developments in our Heavy Plate business. I want to share this information with you: The Heavy Plate business unit has been in economically difficult waters for years and is in the red. We have therefore intensively examined all possible options and have now come to the conclusion that it is not economically viable to continue the business within the thyssenkrupp Group. We will therefore continue to work hard to find a buyer who can continue the heavy plate business profitably. We will press ahead with this process in the short term with the necessary care and transparency towards co-determination. Should a sale not be possible despite these efforts, we plan to close the Heavy Plate Division by 2022.

The most important news here: We want to make every employee an offer for continued employment or a possible exit, appropriate to his or her individual situation.

In the course of the negotiations on Strategy 20-30, however, figures on increased job reductions at Steel have also been stated. The specific figure being discussed is 2,800. Two issues are being mixed up here: The planned reduction of up to 2,000 jobs over the next three years, which structurally consists of 1,000 jobs in administration, 200 in logistics and maintenance, and 800 jobs in Heavy Plate, has already been explained many times.

The additional roughly 800 jobs mentioned now are related to possible later effects of the planned optimization of our production network. If we implement the strategy as planned, individual units will be closed down, resulting in the relocation and reduction of jobs. However, this would not be the case until 2025 and has nothing to do with the measures that are now being implemented. It is important for me to stress this in order not to create additional uncertainties.

Dear colleagues, our steel business is in a very tense situation. The first quarter of this fiscal year was one of the worst quarters ever for Steel. If we want to be back in the premier league, everyone has to make their contribution, for example through greater flexibility. Carrying on as before is not an option. Our Strategy 20-30 involves high investments and will make our sites sustainably competitive. This will allow us to position thyssenkrupp Steel for the future. We are now systematically tackling this process and will work with co-determination to find socially responsible solutions, as is a good tradition at thyssenkrupp.

We as Executive Board will also inform the Heavy Plate workforce personally at the beginning of next week.


Bernhard Osburg