Siemens says it plans to cut about 6,900 jobs, or close to 2 percent of its global workforce. The hammer will fall hardest on a power and gas division hit hard by the rapid growth of renewables. David Pollard reports.
It's a name worn proudly and it's one of Germany's biggest. But now Siemens is being held to account by Germany's biggest union. For the loss of nearly 7,000 jobs. SOUNDBITE (German) KLAUS ABEL, IG METALL TRADE UNION, SAYING: "This plan is harmful to the company. We expect the company to talk seriously with us, with the works councils, about the future for Siemens." But the future for Siemens is no longer this: giant turbines used in power generation. Amid increasing demand for this: renewables. One Siemens chief describes the turbine market as burning to the ground. Supply outstrips demand by three to one. It's not the only to suffer: this week GE halved its earning outlook, for largely the same reasons. SOUNDBITE (English) CITY INDEX MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "Siemens has been a little bit buttressed compared to say GE which is you know a major rival. The need for action is still pretty urgent and I think that's why we're seeing this cut in jobs. I don't think it will actually be the last." In all, around two per cent of the work force are to go by 2020. Most in the Power and Gas Division. Roughly half of the cuts will fall in Germany. In a shock to its workers. SOUNDBITE (German) JOCHEN WEISS, SIEMENS WORKER, SAYING: "The division makes endless profit. We are busy. That's why the mood is so bad." Its politicians are reacting too - one senior party leader calling the cuts 'scandalous'. Though the most senior of all (Angela Merkel) has yet to make her views clear.