Peter Hartz (* 9 August 1941 in St. Ingbert), as son of a miner, completed a commercial apprenticeship and graduated with a degree in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken. He worked as export manager and commercial director for various French metal processing and steel production companies before being appointed labour director at Röchling-Burbach Weiterverarbeitung in Völklingen in 1976. From 1979 to 1993 he was labour director on the board of the AG der Dillinger Hüttenwerke and since 1986 - with the merger of Saarstahl AG and Dillinger Hütte in DHS - in the same function at DHS. From 1 October 1993 Peter Hartz was a member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg, with responsibility for Human Resources, until July 2005.
Mr. Hans Peter Hartz was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Trier on 9 November 1994.
Peter Hartz has not only emerged as an extremely successful (crisis) manager, which has earned him high recognition and great prestige in the business world; he has also given important impulses for the scientific penetration of labour and personnel problems and has made some innovative scientific contributions to this himself.
In the field of human resources and employment policy, his commitment in his function as labour director in the Saarland steel industry deserves special recognition: Peter Hartz countered the crisis at Saarstahl with a series of innovative employment policy instruments. The first German employment and qualification companies were founded there to help reduce company personnel costs on the one hand, but on the other hand to prevent the fall into unemployment through sensible qualification strategies.
The goal of "employment and qualification instead of unemployment" was implemented at the initiative of Peter Hartz in the Steel Foundation Saarland and the non-profit Society for Employment and Qualification Saar.
These organisations, which came into being under extremely difficult circumstances and within a highly divergent field of interests of politics, collective bargaining parties, owners and workers' representatives, are due to the conceptual thinking and political skills of Mr Hartz. They have also become models for labour and qualification societies in the new federal states.
In addition to developing alternative models of employment in crisis situations, Peter Hartz was concerned with developing a new management concept based on German co-determination. His conception of co-determination in companies and enterprises is shaped by the idea that the positive consequences of co-determination, such as job security and quality, must be justified by an additional productive contribution to efficient conflict resolution and greater mobilisation of the capacity of labour. "Co-determination as a productive force" and "co-determination as a modern management concept" are catchwords under which this concept has been and continues to be discussed in public.
In the course of his work as labour director at Dillinger Hütte since 1980, Peter Hartz systematically opened up access to the practical field of Dillinger Hütte to the University of Trier, but also to other academic institutions. Numerous diploma theses, project work within the framework of the practice-based form of study and company visits enabled university lecturers, scientific staff and above all students to gain an insight into the practice, especially into human resources, of the AG of Dillinger Hüttenwerk.