17.04.2018 | Committed for the Integration of people with disabilities
Bruno Wettstein – if you work at Axpo, you know who this is. Be it a problem with infrastructure or an office move on the agenda – he and his team provide competent, reliable support. Less well known is his dedication to the integration of people with disabilities. We talked to him about his motivation and experiences.
Bruno, the rehab clinic in Bellikon contacted you to ask whether Axpo would like to sign the "CHARTA" (Charter), a commitment to equal opportunities for the disabled. Why did they contact you of all people?
It has to do with a KKB employee who had a severe bike accident several years ago. Since he could no longer perform his job, he retrained in my department to become a maintenance technician. Only a short time later, another similar case occurred. A staff member from line construction retrained to become a janitor after knee problems. Retrainings like these are closely followed by so-called SUVA coaches – in the Canton of Aargau mainly from Bellikon.
So the contact has continued since then?
Exactly. It's important for SUVA coaches to get to know companies that are suited and prepared to offer individuals with disabilities a chance for a new career. Axpo has done this several times, the last time in June of this year, when at the request of SUVA, someone spent a trial week here as a janitor.
You're very involved personally. What's your motivation? First of all, I am convinced that large companies like Axpo must have and do have the means to give the disabled a chance. If not in Facility Management, then where else in the company? Second, I see from experience that it can be an absolute win-win situation. And thirdly, it’s very satisfying personally when I can help someone.
You have two employees with disabilities working in your team, Roman and Markus.
That's right. In the meantime, Roman is probably one of the best-known Axpo employees. He is well integrated and liked in the internal post department. That's also a compliment to the whole team that fully supports and guides him.
Getting Markus on board gave me a great deal of satisfaction personally. He previously worked at the factory garage in Birr. When the garage closed, he lost his job too. After various meetings and a screening at IV in Basel, a 50% disability pension was granted. It was a sort of Christmas present when we were able to hire Markus and Roman after his apprenticeship. It was a wonderful moment for me.
What's your experience in working together on a daily basis?
They need an organised structure and stability in society. Recognition, respect and a relationship with the team are just as important for them as they are for us. What I particularly notice: They are thankful because they are aware of what they have here. Markus once said: "You know, I earn less than I did before. But I am happy because I belong." That really impressed and moved me.
Your personal dedication and commitment are very strong. What happens when you retire in a few years?
I hope that things will continue as they have up to now. After all, our department is not the only one with disabled employees. In Facility Management, we all support this as a team. It wouldn't work any other way. People from my team regularly volunteer as helpers at the PluSport Day. They all recognise the value in supporting the disadvantaged, and how pleasing and satisfying teamwork can be.