BERLIN (Reuters) – Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) has offered workers commitments on jobs and investments to get union backing for its deal with Tata Steel (TISC.NS) to merge their European steel operations, several people close to labor union IG Metall said.
Details of the offer are to be discussed at a meeting of management and labor representatives on Tuesday, the sources told Reuters on Sunday.
German industrial group Thyssenkrupp and India’s Tata Steel agreed in September to merge their European steel operations, creating the continent’s second largest steelmaker with revenues of 15 billion euros ($17.7 billion).
But workers at Thyssenkrupp fiercely oppose the deal, concerned more steel jobs will be lost on top of the 2,000 already announced.
IG Metall has demanded 10-year guarantees for jobs, plants and investments and has set a Dec. 22 deadline for an agreement.
German weekly Bild am Sonntag had on Sunday cited Thyssenkrupp personnel chief Oliver Burkhard as saying in an internal memo that the industrial group was prepared to make commitments on future investments and job security.
“With our proposal, we want to secure jobs at the future joint venture into the next decade,” it had quoted him as saying.
Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger hopes to reach a final deal with Tata Steel in early 2018 but that depends on whether he can get it passed by Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board, where labor leaders hold half of the seats.
“If the employer’s side wants to move forward now, then that’s a signal to which we will respond,” Knut Giesler, the head of IG Metall in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia said.
Thyssenkrupp declined to comment on the matter.
Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Andrew Bolton/Keith Weir