Rosler: the other side of the coin?

rosler: the other side of the coin?

Where there is much light, there is also much shadow. Frank meixner from the church service in the world of work (kda) of the evangelical lutheran church in bavaria sees this keyword confirmed at the rosler company as well. The lack of a works council, for example, which brought negative headlines to the uniwell company in ebern last year, cast a less favorable light on the glittering balance sheet of the ground-slip technology company.

The company in memmelsdorf (municipality of untermerzbach) and hausen (bad staffelstein) had made headlines these days with a record-breaking announcement. The most successful business year in the company's history ends with sales of 230 million euros; the employees receive a bonus payment.

Bonuses unequally distributed
Meixner, who works as a pastor for the companies in the evangelical church district of bayreuth, finds it commendable "that employees share in the profits", and yet the social secretary discovers a crucial fly in the ointment. The payments were simply "made out of thin air". A percentage share in profits "particularly favors those who already earn more". A uniform amount, on the other hand, had benefited low earners in particular.

And here comes the ummerstadter to the core of his criticism. The co-determination at rosler is not in good shape. Despite the fact that the company now employs almost 1000 people, it does not have a works council. Such a committee, he told our newspaper, "would certainly have advocated a fairer distribution.

Meixner reports that wages at rosler are far removed from the collective bargaining agreement. Perhaps, the kda man speculates, a works council had also campaigned for payment according to the flat rate of the metal and electrical industry, then "there would be a fair share of the company's profits for the employees every month". Financially, rosler could obviously afford it easily.

Stephan rosler, the managing director of the family-owned company headquartered in memmelsdorf, confirms in a statement on meixner's accusation that rosler is not bound by collective agreements. Nevertheless, the market wages and salaries were paid. In a company, the decision on whether or not to pay a bonus is "naturally made by the management", he explains, noting at the same time that there are only a few companies in germany that – moreover, in economically uncertain times – voluntarily offer a bonus at all numbers.
"I personally find it a pity that there are always people who interpret positive news in a negative way and use ideology and polemics to create confrontation", the manager complains and points to 57 new hires at both german sites in the last twelve months alone.

1,000 employees found "excellent working conditions and an excellent working environment here," he says, which the employers' liability insurance association confirms again and again during regular inspections.

A few years ago, according to company chaplain meixner, the union distributed flyers at rosler to make employees aware of their vested right of co-determination and to denounce problems in the company culture. But this remained without consequences. He attributes this to the fear of many employees of losing their jobs, because without a works council there would be no social plan and no rescue company.

For example, a recession years ago led to layoffs at rosler, where the criteria did not meet what is known as "social selection" understand.

Stephan rosler takes a different view: "with a 40 percent drop in sales at the time, only very minor performance-related personnel adjustments were made and virtually the entire workforce was kept on through the crisis." They coped well with the last crisis together and, he assures, "even if the economic situation worsens, you can be sure that my staff will deal with it calmly."

Violations are the order of the day
In conversation with frank meixner quotes a colleague to the FT, saying that there is no other law in the country that is violated as often and as massively as the works constitution act. "But where there's no lawsuit, there's no judge."
Meixner notes that the social system in germany is based on good infrastructure and the rule of law, and that social insurance depends on fair pay and comparable pay scales: "only good pay brings sufficient contributions for sickness, accidents, care and pensions, and good wages simplify the search for qualified specialists."
According to meixner, who also spoke out in favor of the legally guaranteed interests of employees during the dispute over the election of a works council at the ebern-based company uniwell, employees want to be involved in decisions within the company. He says they want to have a say in working conditions and training measures, be informed about finances and participate in personnel reductions.
Workplace co-determination is a sour grapes of democracy. Without co-determination and democracy, he concludes, "a bonus payment is just a pittance".

Stephan rosler, on the other hand, believes that the interests of the employees in his company are adequately taken into account. He refers to regular staff discussions in the departments, and he offers every employee "the possibility of contacting me directly at any time".

Rosler also talks about regular voluntary payments, such as company benefits, christmas and vacation pay. Rosler also offers social benefits such as a subsidized cafeteria, low-interest loans without requiring any collateral, or the possibility of deferred compensation if someone wants to take early retirement or improve their pension.

Money for education
The managing director also cites the training situation as an indication of the company's intact corporate culture: for decades, the company has offered young people (currently 82 apprentices) the opportunity of solid training; the rate of transfer to professional life is over 95 percent.

In terms of employee training and development, the company clearly exceeds the average of german industrial companies. This, according to stephan rosler, is 0.5 "man-days"; the rosler quota, on the other hand, reaches 1.23 days per man. In addition, the company subsidizes external training measures. 27 employees received an average of 860 euros per nose for this in 2012.

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