Jörg Hofmann: “Binding commitments are necessary

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Jörg Hofmann

The trade unionist leads working group 4 of the National Platform Future of Mobility.

(Photo: IG Metall)

How realistic do you think the goal is to get ten million electric cars on the road by 2030?
Ambitious, but doable if the conditions are right. This includes massive investments in the framework. Sufficient charging stations for electric cars are required. The manufacturers are now quite attractive models on the market. But until there are sufficient economies of scale to reduce costs, there must also be incentives to buy in order to make prices attractive. In order for the whole thing to make sense in terms of climate policy, the electricity must come from renewable sources. Massive investments in alternative modes of transport and in new mobility concepts are also required to achieve the climate protection goals.

Employees fear for their jobs …
To ensure that this change is not seen as a threat to prosperity and employment, we need the entire value chain here, including battery cell production. And we have to build bridges for the workers in the mobility world of tomorrow without fear of losing their jobs.

How far is the auto and supplier industry prepared for the change?
The model offensive is coming, the suppliers are converting. But almost half of the companies in the organizational area of ​​IG Metall – especially small and medium-sized suppliers – have no strategy for this change. That endangers hundreds of thousands of jobs.

What role should the state play in shaping change?
In addition to companies and unions, we need the state on board to create change in security. He has to take part in industrial and labor market policy. Specifically: We need resilient bridges for employees in such conversion phases and therefore opportunities for companies to keep their specialists and prepare them for qualifications for tomorrow. In the current tense situation, this calls for quick political reactions, such as facilitating access to short-time work, combining short-time work and training. We need less bureaucratic access to the Qualification Opportunities Act for everyone who wants to prepare for tomorrow’s demands.

They also complain that suppliers are cut off from credit …
We need help for small and medium-sized suppliers who already have bottlenecks when it comes to access to equity and debt capital to finance the transformation. And last but not least, an active regional structural policy is required so that the regions that are shaped by the combustion engine do not become industrial deserts, but can secure a new place in the industrial added value of tomorrow.

More: New production figures offer hope for a recovery in German industry this year. But the uncertainty in the industry remains.

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