Deals - Asia

Germany urges Thyssenkrupp to reach deal with unions over Tata

The logo of German steel-to-elevators group ThyssenKrupp AG is pictured during the company's annual news conference in Essen, Germany, November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Economy Minister urged management at Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE to seek an agreement with its workers over plans to merge the group's European steel operations with those of Indian peer Tata Steel TISC.NS.

A joint venture with Tata Steel is the preferred option of Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger to restructure the group’s steel business, despite ongoing resistance from labor representatives, who fear thousands of job cuts.

“Such an important and strategic corporate decision should be made following intensive consultation and in consensus with labor representatives. So far, the labor side is not convinced by the decision,” said Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries, a member of the Social Democrats.

“This leads to uncertainty among employees. That is not good for the company and the workers.”

Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board will gather on Sept. 24, the day of Germany’s general elections, to discuss the plan and the company this week said it was possible a memorandum of understanding could be announced this month.

Unions will stage protests against the plans in the city of Bochum on Sept. 22.

Reporting by Rene Wagner; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle