Unions Unhappy Over Siemens Dealing

    June 8, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Siemens has guaranteed the jobs at the Kamp-Linfort plant will be in place for two years under the agreement.

Mobile handset production has lost money for Siemens for some time. The process grew so unprofitable that the company is essentially paying Taiwan-based BenQ to take the unit off its hands.

Siemens acquired a 2.5 percent stake in BenQ as it gave the company control of production facilities in Germany, Brazil, and Shanghai. BenQ will make phones under the Siemens name for five years.

But German unions claim that Siemens may have violated insider trading rules as it negotiated with BenQ. And the Social Democratic Party called Siemens a “locust” company recently, as it complained about the company’s hiring and firing policies.

The unions may file legal action against Siemens, a move that does not seem to portend any impact on the BenQ deal. Its workers at the Kamp-Linfort plant had agreed to a five hour per week work increase with no additional pay last year.

Despite the persistent money losing of as much as $2.5 million USD per day by the mobile phone unit, German news site Spiegel-Online still called the deal a “heavy blow for the German economy.” Siemens will now focus on its industrial businesses, as it moves away from consumer goods.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.