Is the rumor about the takeover of Tinyowl real?

Real works council: 10,000 jobs and 50 locations at risk

Düsseldorf - According to the works council, the planned dismantling of the Real hypermarket chain is at risk for almost one in three of the 34,000 jobs still available at the Metro subsidiary.

"The general works council expects around 10,000 unemployed people," said the company's general works council chairman, Werner Klockhaus, of the "Süddeutsche Zeitung".

The background: Metro wants to sell all 277 Real stores in Germany and the real.de online shop this month, if possible, to an investor consortium made up of X-Bricks and the SCP Group. However, according to the plans that have become known so far, the future owners only want to continue operating a small part of the Real stores themselves. The majority of the locations are to be resold to other retailers such as Edeka or Kaufland. Some locations are apparently also threatened with closure.

1160 employees in OWL

Real operates a total of eight stores in the greater East Westphalia-Lippe area: three in Bielefeld and one each in Gütersloh, Detmold, Paderborn, Brakel and Espelkamp. There is another branch in the immediate vicinity, in Lippstadt. Real employs a total of 1,160 people in OWL.

In view of the fears of the chairman of the general works council, a Metro spokeswoman emphasized that safeguarding the interests of employees was a key issue in the sales talks for the group's executive board. "We are committed to ensuring that, along with the stores, the employees of the companies taking over will continue to be employed." A spokesman for X-Bricks did not want to comment on Klockhaus' statements.

"Around 50 closings or more"

In the interview, the chairman of the general works council painted the future for many employees of the retail chain in gloomy colors. He reckons with "around 50 closures or more" in the course of the reorganization. This alone threatens around 6,000 jobs. In addition, he fears that there will be a large number of redundancies due to operational reasons in the branches sold to competitors. Because hardly any of the competitors have such a broad product range structure as Real. The employees in the electrical, sports and household goods departments would therefore no longer be needed. Together with the expected downsizing in the central administration, this puts another 4,000 jobs at risk.

However, people familiar with the sales process rated the figures from the general works council chairman as very speculative. The future owners would have an interest in keeping as many markets as possible and thus also as many jobs as possible, for reasons of cost, it said.

The Metro spokeswoman also referred to an agreement signed by Real with the general works council at the end of last year. It provides for social security for all Real employees who, despite all efforts, lose their jobs at one of the companies taking over due to operational dismissals.

However, Klockhaus only sees the regulation as a makeshift solution. It should prevent “the employees from falling into the abyss”. There will be a maximum of 12 or 14 gross monthly salaries. In view of the low wages in the retail sector and the large number of part-time employees, this is not a large sum even if you've been with the company for many years.

"For the metro, Real has always been a stepchild that has been neglected," complained Klockhaus. The bill for this would now have to be paid by the employees. So far, the employees have also received no help from politics.

Real is struggling with falling sales and red numbers. Metro has been looking for a buyer for the retail chain for some time. But the sales process turned out to be much more arduous than initially expected.