Perseverance is a must
With the appointment of Doreen, a woman now heads the K+S youth and trainee representative council again after a long period of time. Together with her team, the mining technologist from the Werra plant is committed to the interests of young employees and trainees across sites.
Doreen has not yet completely taken up her new position. Nevertheless, it is certainly not due to a lack of commitment on the part of the 21-year-old, but rather to the current situation. “Corona restrictions began shortly after I was elected. Of course, it was a difficult start to the committee work, but we have now become quite well organized,” she says.
After beginning her apprenticeship in 2016, her predecessor Leon inspired her for the activities in the youth and trainee representative council. When he was no longer employed by the company, it had become necessary to replace his position as Chairman. Leon now works full-time to support the youth organizations in the Kassel trade union district of the IGBCE.
Only those who take part can make a difference.”
Having taken over her responsibilities in the middle of the current legislative period, Doreen's term of office will end this fall. New youth and trainee representatives will then be elected at the sites. “This will be the time for me to really start my activities. I will therefore of course run for re-election and would be very pleased if as many young people at all plants in Germany as possible are willing to represent the interests of their colleagues and stand for election. Only those who participate can make a difference,” Doreen is convinced.
Engagement for travel allowance
Traditionally, the youth and trainee representatives closely cooperate with the works council. In recent years, the members of the committee have successfully promoted the introduction of a travel allowance and the reimbursement of overnight accommodation costs for trainees and those undergoing retraining, for instance. Among other things, the main responsibilities include providing support for trainees during staff appraisals.
Doreen is not on full-time release but represents the interests of her young colleagues alongside her actual job as a mining technologist in the Hattorf-Wintershall mine at the Werra plant. Here she is mainly responsible for securing the roof ridge. At an early age, older friends advised her of the training opportunities at K+S. “Even as a child, I was totally interested in large-scale equipment such as excavators. When I had to give a lecture on salt at school, the career path I would choose was already clear," she says with a smiling face.
It's still a man's world.”
Obviously, Doreen is one of the few women who stands out in the mine. “Perseverance is a must. It's still a man's world to enter,” she says. For some of her colleagues, she says, it was initially unfamiliar, but she gets on well with everyone. “lf you don't take every single joke too seriously, I think it helps. Anyone who takes these things too seriously should not work in mines anyway.” After all, it is important to accomplish your tasks diligently - underground as well as in the youth and trainee representative council.