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Germany: Associations reject industry closure idea

The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and the German Chemical Employers' Association (BAVC) have joined forces to “vehemently reject” calls for a three-week shutdown for the chemical-pharmaceutical industry. This has been suggested as part of a nationwide ‘hard lockdown’ to fight the rapid growth in COVID-19 infection.

The two said that such a measure would be “counterproductive in every respect”. Not only do these industries contribute in key ways to fighting the pandemic by producing vaccines, other essential medicines, protective clothing, cleaning chemicals and equipment for diagnostics, medical and laboratory equipment manufacturers, closing them would bring almost 30% of the economy to a halt.

“Production in our companies must continue,” said VCI managing director Wolfgang Grosse Entrup. “That is only possible if the companies remain open to it. …Vaccines and disinfectants cannot be produced in the home office.” VCI members have also adapted to pandemic conditions, he added, by using home office working where possible and introducing 12-hour shift system, among other things.

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