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Tuesday - December 9, 2014

Inauguration of the TDI-plant Dormagen

Address by André van Broich

Chairman of the Works Council of the Dormagen site of Bayer, Member of the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG

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(2014-1517e)


State Premier Kraft,
County Commissioner Petrauschke,
Mayor Lierenfeld,
Dr. Dekkers,
Mr. Thomas,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Representatives of the media,

In recent weeks, a lot has been said and written about Bayer in general and MaterialScience in particular.

In the future, Bayer will concentrate exclusively on the Life Science businesses, which are characterized by a higher risk and the correspondingly higher return expected by investors.

Bayer MaterialScience will have to compete more intensely in the chemicals market, hopefully operating as an autonomous DAX company.

This means that Bayer will no longer be Bayer. As a result of this decision, both companies will be given a new face. It is therefore a decision of epochal significance which we discussed very intensively and as employee representatives questioned thoroughly at meetings of the Supervisory Board – and not just at the September meeting.

Many members of the workforce have been closely associated with Bayer for generations. It is therefore a painful step to have to work for a new and independent company in the future.

Nevertheless, this strategic decision taken by the Board of Management was approved by the employee representatives on the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG.

We were able to do this because we were presented with a concept that makes economic sense and because we were able to agree good starting conditions in terms of human resources policy for both future companies and their employees.

As well as taking the aforementioned strategic decision, the company and the employee representatives on the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG reached agreement to extend the Employment Pact until the end of 2020.

This was positively received by the workforce and by the public.

And rightly so because this pact prohibits dismissals for operational reasons for six years, safeguarding or actually increasing the number of jobs and training places and thereby providing employees with a reliable basis for planning over a long period of time.

Agreements of this kind are only possible if the company is able to create the necessary foundation for its business activities. Investment to safeguard and increase jobs is also essential in the context of the Employment Pact.

The construction of the new TDI plant is a forward-looking investment which the Works Council greatly welcomes, especially at this time when MaterialScience is preparing for autonomy.

As Dr. Dekkers has already said, an investment of this kind is a commitment to Germany as our home base and North Rhine-Westphalia as a center for the chemical industry. The new plant is evidence of the competitiveness of our home base, also and especially in the international arena.

There are several reasons for this.

For one thing, the Chempark site in Dormagen provides an outstanding infrastructure and the network needed by production plants of this kind. And lastly, a point I consider to be especially important, our region is home to highly qualified employees with the skills to efficiently and safely operate a high-tech facility like this. Here, too, we can see that it pays to invest in vocational training.

Ladies and gentlemen,
While I don’t want to pour cold water on today’s occasion, please allow me in my role as an employee representative to make the following remarks.

Just now I talked about our workforce having a reliable basis for planning. We also need reliability with respect to our entrepreneurial activities and the investments these entail.

In recent years especially, I feel there have been a number of deficits in this regard within the political community and society in Germany.

Although we feel at home here and as a company enjoy substantial support from the political community - for example, in the matter of the reasonable exemptions from the EEG levy allowed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the construction of the TDI plant we are opening today - this is sadly not the case for all our important projects.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m not certain that the otherwise very attractive site here in Dormagen would have been chosen for this investment project if the current conditions had prevailed at the time the decision was made.

A reliable energy policy is needed to give companies a reliable basis for planning. This means ensuring clear and calculable risks concerning future supply reliability, affordable and competitive prices and, above all, concrete and consistent regulations coupled with reasonable infrastructures.

The Works Council and the company are jointly pressing for the creation of reliable framework conditions to ensure that Germany does not become less attractive as an industrial base and that jobs are not unnecessarily put at risk.

It is therefore unacceptable that we as a company are working hard to safeguard jobs and employment, only for these efforts to be undermined by external influences and the migration of investment, among other things.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I would also like to emphasize, however, that the necessary permits were issued within an acceptable period of time, and an intensive and constructive dialogue took place between all the stakeholders involved.

I would therefore like to thank everyone involved in the realization of this project – the political community, the management of Bayer MaterialScience and the Board of Management of Bayer AG for this encouraging signal and the wise decision in favor of the Dormagen site and the chemical industry center of North-Rhine Westphalia.

Above all, however, I would like to express my deepest respect for the entire team and all the colleagues who were involved in the design and construction of this plant. You have real done a great job.

Thank you for your attention.


Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.