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Thyssenkrupp, union call for further consolidation in warship sector

FILE PHOTO: Thyssenkrupp's logo is seen outside the elevator test tower in Rottweil, Germany, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp TKAG.DE and Germany's largest union IG Metall on Thursday called for further consolidation of the country's warship sector, saying a tie-up of rivals Luerssen and German Naval Yards (GNYK) did not go far enough.

Late on Wednesday, Luerssen and GNYK announced they would combine their defense divisions to create a national champion, a move that has backing from the German government.

Thyssenkrupp had also sought to participate in the consolidation and board member Oliver Burkhard took to Twitter to call for further moves involving the conglomerate’s Marine Systems division.

“We are prepared to go further (steps). That also true for everyone else? I have my doubts when I see the comments of all participants in Berlin and Bremen today,” he said, adding that a German champion has yet to emerge.

Daniel Friedrich, who heads IG Metall Kueste, the German union’s arm which represents workers in coastal areas, also said that the Luerssen-GNYK tie up could only be a first step toward secure sites and jobs in the longer run.

“Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems needs to be involved in further consolidation,” he said.

Thyssenkrupp is also in talks with Italy’s Fincantieri about a merger of their defense units, a source familiar with the matter had told Reuters on Wednesday.

Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Edward Taylor

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