André Otto used to work in Nuremberg, now his workplace is in Allendorf (Eder) in northern Hesse. But he is always drawn back home. To the gentle landscape of Saxon Switzerland in the Eastern Ore Mountains. There, the 850-soul Obercarsdorf is lost in reverie, a district of the town of Dippoldiswalde, situated halfway between Dresden and the Czech border on highway 170. His two grandchildren live there. Reason enough to commute at least twice a month. The 59-year-old André Otto needs five hours for the 460-kilometer journey. But to him it’s worth it: “I’m Saxon. And I want to be buried in Saxony some day.” Because of his great love for his homeland, everyone just calls him: Otto the Saxon.
I’m proud to work for this company.
During the week, he has a room in Röddenau, a district of the community Frankenberg, and works in plant I, where all the boilers are manufactured. Otto makes sure that production keeps running. As a Logistics Driver, he is responsible for material replenishment, the indispensable link in the supply of materials for final assembly. Otto is the interface. Without him, nothing works. And his colleagues know: you can rely on the Saxon.
Workhorse in the regional warehouse
Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Otto started working in the Viessmann warehouse in Dresden. When this closed in 2004, he moved to the regional warehouse at the Nuremberg branch in Lauf an der Pegnitz. “I was order picking around the clock,” he says, “working in shifts.” Otto is a workhorse. A man of strength. He says: “Viessmann is the best company there is.” He has never been let down. He always feels appreciated. And he knows: this is not a given these days. “I’m proud to work for this company.”
Employees should help shape the future
But Otto has no existential worries. He’s experienced too much. Hard knocks, but also high points. For example, when he was elected to the works council two years ago. It felt great to enjoy the confidence of the staff. “Being voted for by 1 500 people makes you proud.” On the works council, he has his finger on the pulse of the company. So, he can tell his colleagues how everyday life at the company is changing. “Lots of things are now organized via our Vi2Go app – our time sheet, for example. But also the menu for the cafeteria.”
Max really inspires me.
Otto trusts the junior boss to lead the company into the future and continue paying his salary on time. His brother Tilo Otto also works for Viessmann and has been there for 30 years – initially in Technical Services – and in 2014 was elected to the works council. Trade union involvement has a long tradition in the family. But Otto is not a fan of confrontation. “I just think Max is the best,” he says about the CEO. “He really listens. He honestly wants to know what the problems are. But he also demands solutions.” It’s no use just complaining. Employees should help shape the future. When Otto meets the junior boss, “it gives me a boost every time. Max really inspires me.”