The unions of Seat demand to link the aid of the PERTE of the car to the employment

  • The manufacture of electric cars requires fewer hours of work than that of combustion vehicles

The Seat unions warn that the group’s plans Volkswagen to convert Martorell in a plant dedicated to small electric vehicles will affect the job because there will be surplus labor, and they demand government that conditions the aid of the LOSS al staff maintenance. The German consortium confirmed this Thursday its plans to manufacture electric compact cars at the Seat factory in Martorell and electric SUVs at the Volkswagen plant in Pamplona from 2025, although it insisted that the final decision will depend on the general conditions and incentives. of the government.

In Martorell, the German group intends to assemble three electric models of the Cupra, Skoda and Volkswagen brands, with a forecast already announced months ago to reach the 500,000 vehicles per year. A global volume that will reach 900,000 if the units to be assembled in Pamplona are added. Despite admitting that the ratification of these plans (not yet completely final) is “a step forward”, so much UGT What CCOO, the two main unions of Seat, warn of the existence of “unknowns” and “shadows”, mainly linked to the employment required to produce these 500,000 cars.

The combustion car requires between 17 and 23 hours of work per unit depending on the model, while the compact electric to be manufactured in Martorell will involve between 12 and 13 hours, almost half in some cases. “With a volume of 500,000 vehicles per year we have a employment problem in sight. The numbers do not come out “, assures the Secretary General of CCOO in Seat, Rafa Guerrero, which recalls that in 2019 -before the covid-19 pandemic- Martorell already manufactured this same number of cars, albeit combustion, with a total workforce in the company of some 14,000 people.

The risk to employment of the Volkswagen group plans makes the unions raise their voices to demand that the Government link the granting of aid from the strategic project for the recovery and economic transformation -PERTE- of the electric car to the maintenance of employment. “There has to be a employment stability commitment. Yes there are public money to electrify Seat it has to be like this, it cannot be used to kick out workers. There must be non-traumatic measures and guarantee a orderly transition from the combustion car to the electric one “, affirms the president of the works council of Seat and UGT de Catalunya leader, Matías Carnero.

Jobs in jeopardy

Carnero highlights the importance of Seat continuing to be “an integral brand” and coexist with Cupra, the brand under the Seat umbrella that is gaining more prominence and to which the firm’s electric models are being assigned. The chairman of the committee also claims an electric model for Seat. “You cannot take advantage of the perfect storm that is looming over the brand with the lack of semiconductors to end it, “he warns.

“The future is the electric car, so the commitment to Martorell and Pamplona is good news, but Seat is a company, not just a production center and, for example, it has a plant in El Prat de Llobregat that manufactures manual gearboxes. If there are no other awards, in 2025 they will run out of workload and without a future “, highlights Rafa Guerrero. The CCOO representative warns that” right now there is no industrial alternative “for El Prat, where they work a little more than a thousand people, once they stop manufacturing manual gearboxes, nonexistent in the electric car.

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After warning of the danger of “condemning” Martorell to the “monoculture” of the small segment of the electric car, he also demands that the aid of PERTE be linked to the maintenance of employment and that it be guaranteed “in the centers where the investments will not stop. in the car value chain “.

Carnero, who is also a member of the supervisory board of the Volkswagen Group, the highest governing body of the multinational, also insists on the need for the Martorell and Navarra plants to coordinate to “work as a team”, with the same productivity and flexibility. The unions fear that labor relations could be strained if the two plants enter into competition in the new phase that will open with the electrification of their plants.

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