“At Trimet, we have been embracing diversity and integration ever since the founding of the company in 1985,” says Philipp Schlüter, CEO of Trimet Aluminium SE. “The cooperation between people from various nations and cultures has made our company successful and is essential for ensuring that we can stay abreast of our competitors and remain fit for the future. There is no room for racism here and there never will be. That is why it is important to react unequivocally to even the smallest things and take a stand.”
Coordinated by the works council, the aluminium manufacturer is organizing a multifaceted program for its employees from March 15 to 28, 2021. In a series of videos, employees and managers share their stance on democracy and diversity. Posters on the factory gates and in the production halls call for respect and solidarity. Seminars held by the IG BCE trade union provide an understanding of the mechanics of racist propaganda and offer guidance on how to interact on social media in an appropriate manner. Over the course of the fortnight, the canteens will be serving typical dishes from the various countries of origin of our staff members.
Employees from around 30 nations work at Trimet. With the “Vocational Training for Refugees” project, the family-run company is also committed to integration. The project was launched on the initiative of Trimet founder Heinz-Peter Schlüter. At the peak of the wave of refugees in 2015, he announced that the company would offer vocational training and long-term career prospects to 66 refugees over the coming years, in addition to the regular apprenticeship places. Depending on previous training and suitability, the young people who have fled war-torn regions either start training immediately or enroll on a twelve-month course to obtain an entry-level qualification. Among other things, Trimet covers the cost for additional language courses and preparatory vocational studies. The materials specialist now employs 37 refugees who are either currently doing an apprenticeship or are already skilled workers at Trimet, having successfully completed their training.
The “International Weeks against Racism” can be traced to an initiative of the United Nations, which proclaimed March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination back in 1966. Local authorities, religious communities, companies, associations, and other stakeholders in society are among the more than 70 cooperation partners and supporters in Germany.