Christian Scholz is a Deputy Works Council Chairman. He has spent his entire working life at Siemens and has found his professional home with the company in Siemensstadt. Because this home will be impacted by its transformation into Siemensstadt2 – as will the future of the colleagues he represents – he’s very focused on the changes that will be taking place over the next few years.
Mr. Scholz, how did you become Deputy Works Council Chairman?
I was elected. In addition to my regular career, I was always a youth and trainee representative, which also requires being elected by staff. There are full-time and non-full-time employee representatives, meaning people who perform this function full time and people who participate in works council meetings in addition to their regular jobs. It became a progressively bigger part of my life. I became more and more interested in representing employee interests. At some point, the committee asked whether I’d like to be a full-time deputy chairman. And then I was elected.
Have you spent your entire professional life working for Siemens?
Yes. There’s a sense of being part of something big and secure, because I’ve been employed by Siemens right from the start, for my entire professional career. I don’t know how it is at smaller companies, but I imagine that the difference here is that your job is extremely secure, because we’re like one big family. We also have so many opportunities to respond to things, which might not be the case with a small company.
You’ve been working in Siemensstadt for a number of years. What makes this place special for you?
What’s so special for me is that when I tell friends that I work at Siemens here in Berlin, they immediately ask, “Oh, in Spandau?” Or when I’m driving with friends on the three-lane street through Siemensstadt, and I know that the entire neighborhood is called Siemensstadt – that makes me kind of proud to be working here. That’s what I find so special, that there’s an entire district called Siemensstadt and that a lot of Siemens is also located here.
And within this special place, are some places more special for you than others?
Yes, of course. First of all, here in Siemensstadt we have the famous Stammhaus on the corner. We can walk through the plant, and I think we’d find that 80 percent of Siemens employees know exactly where the Stammhaus is, because colleagues like to meet there after work. There are bowling leagues, people who play soccer, soccer teams scattered throughout the entire plant. If they want to play soccer on Friday, they contact all the departments to find out who has time, and then they play soccer. That’s really cool!
Now this place is about to step into the future. Is it already noticeable?
As an employee representative, I’m extremely involved, because the changes will also affect our production site. Employees also worry that Siemensstadt2 could be a threat to production. I’m now convinced that it’s a positive development for the production site. That’s why I’m committed to addressing my colleagues’ concerns and looking at Siemensstadt as an opportunity, a place where people can grow, where our production can grow.
How do you see this growth?
We’re still producing products here as well developing them. We basically do it all. But, of course, such products are also being replaced by digitalization and other technologies. It’s my hope that because so much development is happening in Siemensstadt2, that perhaps prototype production will be performed here, or pilot-lot production. That means that before a major series can be launched anywhere else in the world, we’ll be the ones who first investigate how it’ll be series-produced. That’s my take on the future.
And what’s your vision for Siemensstadt2?
I think it’s a great idea to live and work together, to have the possibility of living and working here, and helping to improve the infrastructure to make life better. It’s great that there could be a movie theater, so that it wouldn’t only be the newcomers, like start-ups or people from development, that could make their home here, but also employees from production. That’s my vision.
Do you have a personal wish for the future?
What would be great, what’s already being planned, I’ve already mentioned that I’m proud when I drive along this major boulevard with my family or friends and look right and left and see Siemens. One plan is that the campus be opened up, so that non-employees can enjoy a more in-depth experience of the Siemens campus, our Siemens environment. Opening up to the public sounds very appealing. That’s my wish.