The region’s merchants and traders declare their solidarity with the BER tenants12.06.2012
The retail trade association Handelsverband Berlin-Brandenburg (HBB) has announced plans to set up an information platform, BER-HBB-PERSONAL, to help reallocate staff employed by tenants affected by the postponement of the airport opening.
As HBB Managing Director Busch-Petersen told the committee on business and trade of Berlin’s city parliament yesterday, BER tenants are being offered the opportunity, if permitted to do so by the employee, to pass profiles of newly recruited employees who will not be required until the new airport opens on to HBB. The association will pass this information directly on to its members. Depending on the legal framework, the two companies will sign a temporary provision of labour agreement or will find another way to employ these staff in the interim in shops in the region.
The legal advisors of the HBB association will be supervising the entire process until the airport opens.
"The tenants at BER are in a desperate situation which could threaten their existence”, explained Busch-Petersen. “We are helping to solve one of the main problems. Staff were examined to ensure their compliance with security rules, they were employed, trained and will be needed once the airport opens. They cannot work at the airport now. At the same time, the demand for good sales staff in region is high. This way, we can find short-term openings for staff where they are needed.”
The HBB is currently in permanent contact with the airport operating company and the Chamber of Trade and Commerce in Cottbus for the ongoing coordination of this process.
"The tenants are facing considerable liquidity problems; they have to pay back loans for shop fittings and goods, secure all the installations made at the new airport and renegotiate existing delivery contracts with suppliers. Our aim is to at least help with the complex issue of staff and offer a solution that relieves them of this particular burden”, said Busch-Petersen.
The airport’s CEO, Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, called the new information platform an “important component which will alleviate the problems caused by the postponement of BER for our tenants. We naturally wish to avoid any undue hardship that the postponement may cause.” Staff of the airport operating company are currently negotiating with the tenants with the aim of maintaining all rental contracts and ensuring that no tenants are lost on account of the delayed opening. A particular focus will be on preserving the strong regional focus with numerous small and medium-sized companies from the region. In the months before BER opens, the airport operating company will secure all units that have already been fitted against theft and contamination by dust from the building site.
The model can also be extended to the food and beverage sector. Negotiations with the relevant associations are presently being conducted.
The HBB is a voluntary association of merchants and retailers in the region. The members of this interest group represent approximately 85% of the market volume of sector in Berlin and Brandenburg.