Koenig & Bauer Stuttgart avoided redundancies despite a collapse in sales

Koenig & Bauer says that through constructive cooperation with employee representatives, it has been able to implement economically unavoidable cost optimisation measures at Stuttgart-based subsidiary Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint without resorting to compulsory redundancies.

Global economic changes and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic had led to a collapse in sales for the particularly export-oriented company in 2020. Job reductions were kept to a minimum through a series of measures designed to enable a “socially cushioned” transition.

The introduction of a flexible system to reduce working hours (employment based on collective agreements with appropriate individual adjustments) avoided a situation in which key employees with “priceless know-how” would have left the company. The company says the agreement gives it the reassuring certainty that it can react flexibly to short-term turnover fluctuations, while at the same time safeguarding the customary high quality of customer support.

This arrangement was the outcome of many discussions between management representatives, the trade union IG Metall and the works council. Managing director, Ralf Hipp, said: “By working together and not against each other, we have laid the foundations for a successful and promising future.” Board management spokesman Dr Andreas Pleßke said: “Covid-19 is a purely external factor, and so flexibility, common sense and a readiness to compromise were important guidelines for us going into the talks.”

Koenig & Bauer has also announced that all trainees who complete their training this year will receive regular employment contracts.

“After a difficult first half of the year, we are seeing improvement in the order situation and the global economy is coming back to life. In June, we recorded one of the best figures for incoming orders in the company’s history. This enables us to approach the future with confidence and optimism,” said managing director, Pekka Hobbeling.

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