The issue of payment is likely to become a significant point of the new works council.
Düsseldorf For the first time, two trade union representatives are at the head of the Works Council at SAP. On Thursday, the committee elected Eberhard Schick as chairman. The 55-year-old belongs to the “Pro Mitbestimmung” group of IG Metall, which recently received the most votes in the works council election with 19 percent. Anne Schmitz was chosen as deputy by the Verdi “Upgrade” list.
Both groups had been able to significantly strengthen their position in the works council election of SAP SE, the parent company with almost 22,000 employees. “Pro Mitbestimmung” received nine seats, “Upgrade” six. A third of all 45 mandates were thus accounted for by the DGB trade unions – a peak for the software manufacturer. At SAP, the degree of organization is low, independent groups dominate the employee representatives.
In the election, both employee representatives were able to rely on broad majorities. According to Handelsblatt information, the trade union groups agreed with several representatives to fill positions such as committee chairs by consensus.
Among them were also the large lists “Triple-E” and “Stark 22”. Schick told Handelsblatt: “We strive to work constructively together in the works council and to fairly involve all lists that want to participate.“
In recent years, conflicts have repeatedly occurred due to conflicting positions and partly personal animosities. The quarrels culminated in the fact that last summer two employee representatives resigned after fraud allegations, including the then chairman Ralf Zeiger. Now a large majority is sending a signal for constructive cooperation, it can be heard from the committee.
Head of SAP Works Council Schick
The 55-year-old was one of the co-founders of the SAP Works Council in 2006.
Schick currently sees two areas as the most important topics: on the one hand, payment, there is dissatisfaction in the workforce with the last salary rounds – there is no collective agreement with the software manufacturer. On the other hand, there is a need for clarification in the case of location-independent work. The Group is introducing a new model under the name “Pledge to Flex”, but there is no adapted operating agreement for it.
Veteran of the SAP Works Council
Schick is a veteran of the SAP Works Council: He and two other employees initiated the founding of the committee in 2006 against massive resistance from the Board of Management, the founders and numerous employees.
In an open letter, Dietmar Hopp warned of a loss of corporate culture, polemicized against trade unions and even threatened to relocate the headquarters. The major shareholder was already out of the operating business.
Meanwhile, the attitude in the Group has changed significantly. Cawa Younosi, Head of Human Resources at SAP Germany, encouraged employees to stand for election. And Hasso Plattner, co-founder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board, said that he prefers IG Metall to a union he doesn’t know: “At least you can go to a union boss if something doesn’t suit you.“