April 11, 2017 / 1:06 PM / 3 years ago

Union sees Thyssenkrupp steel restructuring costing 4,000 jobs

The logo of German steel-to-elevators group ThyssenKrupp AG is pictured during the company's annual news conference in Essen, Germany, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) is looking to cut up to 4,000 of the 27,000 jobs at its European steel unit in a coming overhaul of the business, and is facing workers’ action in response, a representative of trade union IG Metall told Reuters on Tuesday.

The German industrial group had said on Friday it planned to cut costs by 500 million euros (429 million pounds) at its steel unit, which it is seeking to merge with Tata Steel’s (TISC.NS) European operations to curb overcapacity.

Management documents made available to organised labour show that about 15 percent of the European steel unit’s 27,000 jobs were at risk, IG Metall union representative Dieter Lieske told Reuters.

A spokesman for Thyssenkrupp reiterated on Tuesday it was not yet decided how many jobs would be cut.

IG Metall’s Lieske reaffirmed the union’s opposition to a tie-up with the Tata Steel business, also repeating that any restructuring should be put on hold until a decision over the merger is made.

“We are strictly against a merger,” he added.

German labour laws grant far-reaching rights to workers under the country’s co-determination scheme. Half the seats on listed companies’ non-executive supervisory boards are reserved for labour representatives.

The union will stage a labour rally on May 3 in the city of Duisburg, with several thousands of workers expected to attend, Lieske said.

In addition, hours-long information events were being held for workers, which the union says have already disrupted production. About 20 more of these events had been scheduled, Lieske added.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Arno Schuetze and Georgina Prodhan

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