In 2006, employees of a Bosch-Siemens factory in Berlin went on strike, occupied the factory and organised a solidarity march to protest against plans to close the plant. They could not prevent one third of the employees being laid off, but they did prevent the plant being closed.
According to Holger Wegemann, who made a documentary on the strike, the partial success of the strike had something to do with public attention and a bit of luck: “The Siemens managers had just increased the income of board managers by 30%”.
Wegemann says employees should form a shadow management that thinks like the company management so as not to be taken by surprise when plans to close a plant are announced.
The film maker is critical of trade unions, which would be unwilling to yield control to workers. “They fear employees gaining experience with direct political fights. When workers decide that they can paint their own placards. This makes people more independent, but also more difficult to steer”.