Chain restructurings. “Up to 2006, we were mostly concerned with one thing: how can we cut jobs?” explains Veit Echterhoff, in charge of training policy at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG. And for good reason: as soon as it was founded, the biggest steel producer in Germany, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe (28,843 employees, €12.8 billion in sales in 2010-11), based in Duisburg, was affected by the steel crisis which has been ravaging Europe since the 1970s. Blast furnaces gradually closed in the Ruhr basin; Thyssen merging with its long-standing rival, Krupp, in 1997, nearly half of steel jobs disappeared in the German steel industry, young people being hit first. ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe, implementing restructuring after restructuring, keeps training more apprentices than it needs but only hires the best 15 each year. There is no recruitment program.
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