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Jenoptik Defense Div., Unions Reach Deal
Sep 2013
ESSEN, WEDEL & JENA, Germany, Sept. 3, 2013 — A new long-term collective bargaining agreement between unions and management in Jenoptik’s Defense & Civil Systems Div. will keep the company’s facility in Essen operating until at least the end of 2019.

Management, the Works Council and the IG Metall union reached an agreement on Aug. 29 that the parties say will provide more efficient cost structures, improve processes and increase the competitiveness of the division. The agreement covers company facilities in Essen and Wedel, near Hamburg. Wedel employs 498, while Essen has 69 employees.

The Defense & Civil Systems division, one of five divisions that Jena-based Jenoptik operates, employs 903. It develops, produces and distributes mechatronic and sensor systems including IR cameras and laser rangefinders for civil and military applications.

The key outcome of the agreement was the decision to retain the Essen location. Under the deal, employees there will not be terminated for operational reasons for the duration of the agreement, unless key operational changes are needed. The wage increase for the 2013 collective bargaining round will be suspended, and working hours increased by one hour to 36 hours a week without a pay increase. The agreement is valid until Dec. 31, 2019, for the Essen and Wedel locations.

The concessions were needed to “ensure that there is a significant improvement in the competitiveness and efficiency of the division’s processes,” the company said.

“The negotiations resulted in a commercially sustainable yet socially acceptable solution that provides positive prospects for our employees in Essen and Wedel for the next six-and-a-half years,” said Jenoptik CEO Michael Mertin. “The ongoing and consistent improvement in our processes and cost structures will improve our performance in the long-term, allowing the Jenoptik division and its products to remain internationally competitive in the future.”

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