Knorr-Bremse Response to Economic Downturn

Source: Knorr-Bremse announcement

Munich – The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is also leading to far-reaching adaptation measures at Knorr-Bremse.

Substantial proportions of customers and suppliers in Europe have temporarily shut down their production plants. Many customers have also reduced capacities in their administration and development departments.

Against this backdrop, Knorr-Bremse has reached agreements with employee representatives across Germany with the aim of safeguarding jobs and being able to ramp up production again at any time in close coordination with customers.

All parts of Knorr-Bremse are taking a proactive approach and adapting their activities flexibly to the current situation.

“Keeping our customers supplied takes top priority,” said Knorr-Bremse CEO, Bernd Eulitz. “Many of our customers have shut down operations for several weeks and we now have to adapt accordingly. At all our sites we are reconciling the interests of the company, our customers and our employees and together we will overcome the crisis.”

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Most of the company’s sites in Germany are working on reduced schedules, primarily impacting the Munich and Schwieberdingen sites, as well as the truck-division plants in Aldersbach and Berlin and the rail-division plant in Düsseldorf.

Between 20 and 60 percent of production and administrative activities will initially be cut back for approximately three months, including administration at the parent company Knorr-Bremse AG.

The level of schedule reductions and the agreed duration varies from one site to the next. The largest truck-division plants in Germany – Aldersbach and Berlin – had already begun cutting back working hours in March. An additional contribution by the company will increase employees’ short-time working allowance to around 85 percent.

“Our joint aim is to safeguard all jobs,” says the Chairman of the Knorr-Bremse Group Works Council, Michael Jell. “At the same time we have to respond flexibly to the market situation, because we still want to have a stable and dependable employer when the crisis is over. And we are all making a decisive contribution to this.”

Where necessary and possible, Knorr-Bremse sites in other European countries, such as Italy, Spain and France, and in the U.S. are also making use of similar programs to help protect employees and ensure job security.

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