Michael Vassiliadis, 59, has been chairman of the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union (IGBCE) since 2009.
Image: Daniel Pilar
Union leader Michael Vassiliadis on the risks of the energy transition, subsidies for industry and the interest of international investors in German coal-fired power plants.
Mr Vassiliadis, as head of the IGBCE union, you represent workers in the most energy-intensive parts of German industry. How many jobs will there still be when we in Germany are done with the energy transition?
More than a million people are employed in Germany in the sectors that are now under particular pressure due to high energy prices and the limited security of supply. It’s about parts of the chemical industry, for example, about ceramics, glass and cement production. If the energy supply becomes extremely problematic in the coming years and a hurricane sweeps through these sectors, so to speak, then I consider around 30 percent of these jobs to be at risk. Incidentally, in the worst case, we would not only lose these jobs, but also a great deal of competence and innovative strength along the entire value chain.