This text was written after my discussion with RWE employees, who were in November 2018 at the so-called RWE forest walk in Hambach Forest. Initially, the situation was very emotional and polemical, but over time, more and more controversial discussion developed.
This discussion should be continued herewith:
Let us fight together for a world worth living
I was a worker, toolmaker in the automotive industry, organised and active in the Union IG Metall, active in the shop, works council and shop steward.
Now I am 66 years old, retired and active in preserving the rest of the Hambach Forest and against lignite mining.
You may ask: what makes him doing that?
In my working life in tool making I have learned what a gigantic waste of raw materials and energy is done according to the motto: more and more, higher and higher, faster and faster etc.
Allegedly, this creates and secures jobs and feed our families.
But that destroys the foundations of our existence worldwide is repressed and denied.
For years it has become increasingly clear to me that this system, in which we live in a prosperity cocoon, does not aim to give us a reasonable income, but only works on the principle of unlimited profit maximisation. The wars over raw materials and sales markets, and not least the ever-accelerating climate change, show us all:
It can not go on like this.
Not only are we destroying the tropical rain forests and the livelihoods of the people there, but also here with us we saw the branch on which we all sit.
In order to make our future, the future of all people, of our children and grandchildren worth living, we must take action and break this system of excess and unconditional profit.
Does not lignite secure our energy needs and thus our jobs?
No, on the contrary. Lignite and its power plants are the dirtiest source of energy. They are the biggest emitters of 2 and responsible for the destruction of our livelihoods worldwide. The energy needs of this society are based on the excessive exploitation of our planet and progresses faster and faster.
The only engine is the profit of the corporations and the accumulation of wealth of a few.
And the jobs?
Honestly, you have no control over what happens to your jobs.
This is decided by the Group Management Board, the majority of shareholders and the banks.
If they decide that jobs should be cut down for “business reasons”, then you will be fired!!! Despite co-determination and Works Constitution Act you sit at the shorter lever!
The assumption that the workers are doing well when the company is doing well is a delusion!!!
One thing is for sure: lignite has no future. And actually you know that too.
RWE has long since recognised this. The splitting up of RWE into two parts shows that RWE Power is sent to bankruptcy and that the top management and the owners of the capital just want to feather their own nest.
Is not RWE like a big family?
Sure, they tell that to lull you.
But what happens when RWE Power is liquidated?
The boards get other high-paying posts in other corporations.
Their income is so high that they do not have to worry.
You may get a redundancy programme with early retirement from a certain age on.
The rest may be sent for a limited time to a rescue company.
There you will learn how to write application letters and how to apply “properly”.
Then there’s one year unemployment benefit, then Hartz IV. Or a temporary employment agency with mini-pay.
From the so called Coal Commission (Kommission für Wachstum, Strukturwandel und Beschäftigung) came a recommendation that RWE should not issue compulsory redundancies and guarantee all employees the assurance of an equivalent job and their social standards.
Do you think that RWE will do this on a voluntary basis?
The task of IGBCE (Union of Mining, Chemistry and Energy workers) and the works council should be to fight for sustainable jobs for all.
Since when is it up to the IGBCE and the works council to allow themselves to be used by the top management?
The task of the union and the works council is not to represent the interests of the RWE Group, but to fight for future-proof jobs.
Your enemies are NOT the preservation of the Hambach Forest and the people who support it!
On the contrary, we share a common goal:
We want to live in peace and have a livable, sustainable existence – also for our children.
We want to determine and shape our own life and not to be chess pieces in the game of corporations !!!!
Here and worldwide.
We can fight together for that
What about a joint demo in front of the RWE headquarters in Essen and the state parliament in Düsseldorf ???”