02 July 2010 17:43 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany’s chemical industry has coped remarkably well in the economic crisis, largely due to the country’s “social partnership” between employers and unions that helped to maintain employment, BASF chief executive Jurgen Hambrecht said on Friday.
“The crisis has clearly shown that the chemical industry is a reliable and indispensable pillar of the ?xml:namespace>
Hambrecht was speaking after a “chemical industry dialogue” on Friday in
Vassiliadis said that social partnership was the basis of Germany's social market economy.
Chemial employers and workers had overcome the crisis together, without any drastic job cuts, Vassiliadis said. "This has required a lot of effort, but it was worth it ... now the industry's is again heading for an upswing," he said.
Hambrecht said, however, that a key concern for the industry’s continued competitiveness was reliable access to affordable supplies of energy and raw materials.
At the same time, the government needed to ensure that the industry’s energy supplies were not subject to additional tax burdens, he said.
Bruderle, for his part, agreed that energy and raw material supply was a key priority. The government was working on an energy strategy that would be finalised this autumn, he said.
The minister also said
However, the country needed to ensure it did not discredit promising sectors such as nanomaterials or gene technology through “exaggerated regulation” or “hostility towards technology and backward thinking,” he said.
In related news, chemical employers said earlier they were worried about a far-reaching court ruling last month on collective bargaining that could undermine the stability in the country’s labour markets.
The country’s top labour court ruled it would no longer recognise the “Tarifeinheit”, a principle laying down that there is only one collective bargaining deal per plant.
The court’s ruling opened the door to separate collective agreements for various groups of workers within one plant or facility, raising the spectre that collective bargaining could become balkanised, with
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