The Schweinfurt Early Bird
The Schweinfurt Early Bird is a weekly compilation of locally and nationally relevant German news. The information displayed here is based on German newspaper articles of the "Schweinfurter Tagblatt", the local Schweinfurt edition of the German newspaper "Mainpost".
Biker was seriously injured (June 9)
On Friday afternoon a traffic accident occurred on A 70 between the junction Schweinfurt-Bergrheinfeld and the three-leg interchange to A 71 during which a biker sustained serious injuries. The accident was caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer who abruptly changed from the right to the left lane. The driver of a POV and the biker had to brake and the biker got thrown off his bike. He sustained several broken bones and had to be taken to a hospital. After the accident the driver of the tractor-trailer stopped on the emergency lane but then drove away without leaving his personal data. Later on he was stopped by the police. Preliminary investigations will be initiated against him for fleeing the scene of an accident, negligent bodily harm and violations of traffic regulations.
Schaeffler cuts jobs: “A hard hit for the region” (June 12)
The city of Schweinfurt and its surrounding region is relatively well off thanks to the quality jobs in the industry. However; if Bosch- Rexroth with linear systems, SKF or, since Wednesday, Schaeffler (FAG), the metal working companies which are the pillars of the regional prosperity are cutting hundreds of jobs, by moving branches to low-wage countries in Eastern Europe, within the next few years, how will it affect Schweinfurt? Lord Mayor Sebastian Remele rates it as a matter of concern and a hard hit for Schweinfurt. He emphasized that the management of Schaeffler promised him that the plant in Schweinfurt will not be subject to negotiations. Even if the wheel bearings will not be produced here anymore, new products will be added to the production line. Remele stated “A total phase-out of the automotive branch is not planned.” Remele and County Commissioner Töpper will visit the Chief Executive of the Schaeffler Group, Jürgen M. Geissinger, in Herzogenaurach and will use their influence in local politics to ensure that the automotive branch will not be put aside. Remele explained that for the city of Schweinfurt Schaeffler is one of the central employers and (commercial) tax payer. Töpper said: “The relocation of the wheel bearing production would be a hard hit also for the county since many citizens living in the Schweinfurt County would be affected. Therefore he understands the intention of the workforce to have the company planning reviewed by external experts. After all quality jobs are at stake. The loss of the wheel bearing production would have a lasting effect on Schweinfurt. However; negotiations have just begun and should be conducted rigorously to possibly prevent the loss of jobs or to limit it to a minimum. The Chairman of the retail organization for the district Schweinfurt, Jens Drescher, states: “The cuts are devastating - behind every worker is a family and most of the workers in the metal industry are the main earners. From the aspect of retail the decision of Schaeffler Group will widen the gap between too large selling spaces and not enough labor force even more. Finally, the drawdown of the U.S. Army in 2014 will already affect the retail business. In this respect the decisions made by Schaeffler are bad news for the people of Schweinfurt and Lower Franconia.
On Wednesday civilian employees of the U.S. Army will go on strike (June 11)
On Wednesday, 12 June the Schweinfurt district of trade union Ver.di will summon civilian employees of the U.S. Army to a one day warn strike. They will demonstrate against the pay freeze. The strikers will be informed in regard to the current state of the ongoing tariff negotiations by Norbert Flach, Deputy Manager for Bavaria at Georg-Wichtermann-Platz at 0900. According to Flach the warn strike is necessary because the employer – foreign forces in Germany – consequently refuse a linear pay increase in the current round of negotiations. The pay scales have been the same since beginning of 2010, since then there were only single payment increases which should continue until 2015. The employer’s chief negotiators refer to a so-called “pay freeze” an enactment of the U.S. administration stating that wages and salaries must not increase. Flach explains: “this is a clear violation of the tariff autonomy rooted in the German constitution”. The U.S. forces have proven that it works differently in Turkey where the local workforce is exempted from the “pay freeze”. Approximately 70 German civilian employees had demanded a pay increase in the beginning of April with an “informal lunch” demonstrating against the “pay freeze” without success. Now they will lay down their work for one day.
Anti-Friction Bearing plant Schaeffler (FAG) will cut 576 jobs in Schweinfurt (June 11)
The reason: The automotive branch will be relocated to a cheaper locations within the next few years. On Tuesday spokesman Marcus Brans stated that production costs were the reason for the relocation. Wheel bearings from Schweinfurt production are too expensive therefore there are no new orders for them. The pressure to reduce prices from the automobile manufacturers is immense. Therefore production shall be relocated to other countries. The automotive branch in Schweinfurt has currently 876 employees. Their number should be cut down to 300 within the next few years. On Tuesday morning there were rumors that 1,000 jobs are on the rocks.
Schaeffler employs about 6,000 workers here in Schweinfurt.
Federal government approves financial aid for removing damages (June 10)
In general the federal government has approved financial aid for the federal states affected by the floods for removal of damages and reconstruction. On Monday government spokesman Steffen Seibert stated: “There will be solidarity and readiness to help from the federal government just as it was during the floods in 2002. At the present it is too early to give concrete figures. First of all further damages have to be prevented. Chancellor Angela Merkel already had promised the flooded states 100 Million Euros emergency aid.
60 seriously injured persons per year – advanced training at Leopoldina Hospital (June 10)
A serious traffic accident on A 71, a job related accident of a scaffold builder or the victim of a violent offense involving a weapon. All of those possible causes for severe accidents. An average of 60 persons with serious injuries are treated at Leopoldina Hospital per year. These are patients with massive, multiple injuries to organs, bones, blood vessels and other body parts. The orthopedics, emergency surgery, hand and reconstructive surgery as well as the clinic for anesthesia have initiated an interprofessional advanced training which is geared towards all services part of rescue and treatment and should improve coordination and cooperation. 80 participants from rescue services from various occupation groups at the Leopoldina Hospital and other functions came to listen to the lectures of various professors and to discuss the contents in the context of actual example cases.
Schweinfurt Academy Days – eco-social market economy (June 9)
From 20 – 22 June the 2nd Schweinfurt Academy Days will take place at the technical college in Schweinfurt. The focus is eco-social market economy and sustainability. During the opening ceremony on 21 June, Professor Gunter Pauli will give a lecture. He is the initiator of the so-called “Blue Economy”, a concept that shall protect the ecosystems and at the same time provide jobs. He will talk about how innovations in economy models can create a better society. On Saturday five workshops are offered : “Plant-for-the-Planet” – children change the world.; “Desertec” – desert power secures our energy demand and helps the desert people; “BioNik – intelligent solutions from nature”; “circumnavigation of the world with the solar mobile and development of electric utility vehicles”; “Be climate neutral: “What’s behind this? And What can I do?”
Streets closed because of Bavarian Traffic Safety Day (June 9)
On Saturday, 15 June the Market Square, Brückenstrasse (before the junction with Judengasse) and Rückertstrasse will be closed for busses, taxis and deliveries all day. On Friday, 14 June the busses will no longer depart from the Market Square but instead from Rüsterberg.
38 degrees Celsius next week (June 13)
The first heat wave this year will be here next week. Temperatures are expected to rise to 38 degrees Celsius in the Southern and Eastern parts of Germany. However; first of all there will be a weekend with mixed weather according to Jens Hoffmann, meteorologist at the German weather service. So far there has not been a day in 2013 when the temperatures went up to 30 degrees Celsius. This will change on Monday: Air from North-West Africa will let temperatures rise up to 35 degrees Celsius in some areas. In the triangle between Tauberbischofsheim, Schweinfurt and Kitzingen 30 degrees can be expected on Monday.
Flood causes billions of damage (June 10)
No end at the Elbe River: Floods still endanger the dykes and hinder rail traffic. German prime ministers will discuss financial aid. Even a week after the floods the situation is still dramatic at the levees. On Monday the impact of the water broke a levee in Saxony-Anhalt. Masses of water flooded Stendal County; thousands of people had to be evacuated. After a bridge was closed there were long delays in train traffic. Farther north in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein the helpers hoped that masses of sand bags would hold the water. Chancellor Angela Merkel went to Brandenburg to visualize the situation. The flood damages in all of Germany have been estimated to a two-digit billion sum. In a meeting of the 16 prime ministers with Chancellor Merkel on Thursday the financial aid for flood victims will be discussed.
Elbe River flooded – water level almost 24 feet above normal (June 9)
The Local website reports German authorities urged 15,000 more people to flee their homes in a city on the swollen Elbe River late Sunday as the worst floods in a decade threatened much of central Europe. Across central Europe, the floods have killed at least 18 people, including 10 in the Czech Republic. The German city of Magdeburg urged 15,000 residents to leave the east bank of the river Elbe, where an almost 24 feet peak from the normal level was expected to strain saturated dykes for the next few days.
Thunderstorms cause floods and accidents (June 9)
Saturday, shortly after noon the German Weather Service gave severe weather warnings for the Schweinfurt, Bad Kissingen, Rhön-Grabfeld and Haßberge areas. The warning was cancelled shortly after 1330. At approximately 1230 lightning caused a fire in the roof of a building in Burgsinn. The 10 occupants of the house were able to get out. The police estimate the damage to 25,000 Euros. An oak tree which had toppled over during the storm caused two accidents on Saturday evening. On Saturday evening mud slides and flooded roads caused traffic chaos in the Wertheim area.