Siemens` chief executive has defended the German industrial group against government accusations that its planned job cuts could encourage right-wing populism in economically weak areas of the former East Germany.
Siemens may cut thousands of jobs in an overhaul of its power and gas business, which is struggling with low demand for large gas turbines, especially in Germany where Berlin has speeded up a shift towards renewable energy.
CEO Joe Kaeser, in a letter to Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries cited by Der Spiegel magazine on Friday, said Berlin shared the blame for capacity adjustments that were now necessary as a result of Germany`s abrupt switch to renewables.
The so-called Energiewende policy had caused not just a short-term dip in demand for conventional turbines but a "permanent change" to the industry, Kaeser said in the letter.
Siemens confirmed that Kaeser had written to Zypries but declined to comment on the content.
Zypries last week urged Siemens to rethink its planned job cuts, saying that job losses in the former Communist east could have negative consequences, as seen in September`s advance by the far-right AfD party in national elections.
Siemens has declined to comment on specifics of any planned restructuring but has said it is always considering its strategic direction, which could include consolidation of some of its businesses.
Its human resources chief, Janina Kugel, told the DPA German news agency in an interview published on Friday that "massive changes" were afoot and that workers would be informed about the plans in mid-November.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)