Management said moves implemented in the recent past, including short-time working, early retirement and contract buyouts, had been insufficient to deal with the crisis. In a statement, managing directors Jürgen Vutz, Peter Steinbeck and Theodor Determann said that in the current weak economic environment there were no alternatives to redundancies. At the same time, they affirmed the machinery manufacturer’s commitment to the flexible packaging market, which despite the current weakness has “potential for further growth.”
The workforce, backed by the German metalworkers’ union IG Metall, has appealed to W&H management to “do everything possible” to retain all employees. It argues that when the recession ends, the company will be in a weakened position. The union proposes that retained profits of earlier years be used to bridge the gap to economy recovery and preserve jobs. IG Metall contends that the in-house collective agreement prohibits compulsory redundancies.