Germany’s metal industry union calls for dialogue on Tesla expansion

Germany’s metals industry trade union IG Metall said it supports the planned factory expansion of electric car manufacturer Tesla near Berlin and is calling for dialogue in the face of citizens’ concerns.

Following a clear “no” vote in a public consultation in the municipality of Grünheide in Brandenburg, the union appealed to the company to address the concerns. Tesla wants to expand production and also extend the site to include a goods station and logistics areas.

Around two thirds of Grünheide residents voted against the expansion of the site in the survey.

“In principle, IG Metall supports the expansion of the plant, which will create thousands of jobs in the automotive industry,” Dirk Schulze, IG Metall district manager for Berlin-Brandenburg-Saxony, told dpa.

“It is important that Tesla seeks dialogue with citizens and responds to people’s concerns and objections. However, an expansion with an almost doubling of industrial jobs would be a benefit for the state of Brandenburg and for Berlin, and therefore also for a larger basin area,” he said.

The car manufacturer wants to build a goods station, warehouses and a company day-care centre on a neighbouring area of around 170 hectares.

Tesla wants to expand production on the existing site and double the planned 500,000 cars per year to 1 million. Conservationists and local residents criticize the fact that more than 100 hectares of forest are to be cleared for the expansion.

The municipal council in Grünheide still has to approve the development plan. Several local councillors have announced that they will honour the citizens’ vote.

IG Metall once again campaigned in favour of good and secure jobs with collective agreements.

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