The main German automotive industry trade union, IG Metall, has proposed a seven-point programme to secure jobs and stabilise the economy.

Chairman Berthold Huber said the overriding goal must be no redundancies. He called on employers to use tariff agreements and other human resource mechanisms to come up with company-specific solutions that avoid job losses.

The second point relates to hourly or temporary workers. IG Metall said companies should do everything they can to protect employees even if they are employed by agencies rather than the companies themselves.

Thirdly, IG Metall called on the banks to make funds available. Huber said it is a scandal that banks are not releasing more funds into the real economy when they were the cause of the crisis in the first place.

A scrapping incentive for old cars would also incentivise demand, said IG Metall. It proposed that all owners of private cars over 10 years old receive a EUR3,000 voucher towards a new car after proving the old car had been scrapped. If vehicle manufacturers matched this by just 50%, so that the voucher would be worth EUR4,500, they could stimulate new car demand by 750,000 units, the union claimed.

IG Metall also called for government financial incentives such as giving low income consumers EUR250 to encourage them to go out and spend. The union also wants the government to set up a ‘future investment’ fund to encourage people and companies to invest in energy efficiency, for example.

IG Metall is also seeking greater representation of workers on companies’ management boards so managers cannot take rash decisions on job cuts.