(Updates with detail, context, no comment from finance ministry)
FRANKFURT, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Stefan Wittmann, who sits on Commerzbank’s supervisory board as a labour representative, said on Friday that plans to cut 10,000 jobs were “simply crazy”.
Wittmann’s comment, made to Reuters as the board embarks on discussions about a radical overhaul proposed by management, suggests a tense showdown is in store.
The supervisory board is due to discuss over the next few days the plans that were made public on Thursday by Commerzbank’s new chief executive Manfred Knof. He wants a final decision on Feb. 3.
At stake is one in three jobs in Germany at the nation’s No. 2 lender. The government still owns a 15% stake after a bailout during the last financial crisis, and the topic of job cuts is especially sensitive in an election year.
Wittmann, an official with the Verdi labour union, said plans to cut branches from 800 to 450 was “going in the right direction”.
But doing more with fewer people was not a recipe for success in the long term, he said.
A spokeswoman for Commerzbank declined to comment on Wittmann’s remarks.
The German finance ministry also declined to comment on the restructuring plan. (Reporting by Tom Sims; additional reporting by Christian Kraemer in Berlin; editing by Thomas Seythal and Maria Sheahan)