While many baur employees at the weismain site are breathing a sigh of relief, the mobele purchasers have had the sad certainty since tuesday: their jobs have fallen victim to the "focus" synergy project to the sacrifice. The furniture and home furnishings ranges will in future be handled at otto group headquarters in hamburg. "This has nothing to do with the performance of the division", said baur managing director albert klein. "We have competition in the online market that is becoming increasingly intense and fierce. We have to take advantage of all possible synergies, especially on the purchasing side."
It could have been worse for the site. Then, when actually only the buyers of shoes had remained at the obermain. After a long struggle, an agreement has been reached within the group: although purchasing will in principle be managed centrally from hamburg. But the shopping areas shoes, jewelry/watches, sports, household, lighting as well as gifts, toys and sub-goods will remain in weismain.
Nevertheless: in order to be able to reduce 62 full-time positions as far as possible in line with social agreements, a number of employees have to accept the offer of leaving with severance pay or going into semi-retirement. According to works council chairman horst bergmann, the part-time retirement offer is aimed at employees who are 57 years old and over. "Up to a maximum of six years. That means then: three years working and three years at home", declared bergmann. The chairman of the works council spoke of having given "everything we could". Despite all the joy about what has now been achieved, bergmann and his colleagues on the works council did not want to spare anything. "A social plan is always bad because it affects the existence of colleagues", bergmann said.
Implementation "process of months"
But even for those whose existence is not threatened, there is still no peace after so much back and forth. "As far as work is concerned, it affects everyone. We don't yet know exactly how everything will work out in the future", said an employee in weismain.
Managing director albert klein did not want to commit himself to a time frame for the implementation of the agreed mabnahmen. "This is a process that will take months,", he said. The new structure will be in place from july, but not everything will have been implemented by then.
Important achievement for baur: the company is to provide more services for otto group companies in the future. "In the area of e-commerce, our team has done a great job here in recent years. In the future, this know-how will be used even more intensively for the group", said klein. Advertising is also to be expanded. In future, baur photographers will put many products in the right light in new photo studios in weismain. 40 new jobs are to be created here in the next two years.
"Now it's time to settle down," said, said georg von waldenfels, chairman of the board of trustees of the baur foundation. The staff reductions were much smaller than initially feared. "For us, the most important thing was that baur retained its independence", said von waldenfels. District administrator christian meibner also expressed his relief at "the otto group's commitment to independence" von baur.