Merkel faces discord with German trade unions

6th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

6 September 2005, BERLIN - Angela Merkel, the conservative challenger tipped by polls to win German elections later this month, failed to bridge her differences with union leaders at a meeting Tuesday.

6 September 2005

BERLIN - Angela Merkel, the conservative challenger tipped by polls to win German elections later this month, failed to bridge her differences with union leaders at a meeting Tuesday.

The head of public sector union ver.di, Frank Bsirske, warned after the talks that Merkel's plans do away with nationwide setting of wages for industrial sectors would sharpen labour conflicts.

Merkel's plans to liberalise German labour law are also opposed by unions.

Among planned conservative labour reforms is loosening of strict laws limiting the sacking of workers for companies with between 10 and 20 employees. At present, the watered down law in only valid for businesses with less than 10 workers.

Germany's six leading opinion polling agencies give Merkel's Christian Democratic alliance (CDU/CSU) and Free Democratic Party (FDP) between 49 per cent and 50 per cent.

Schroeder's Social Democratic (SPD) government with the Greens has 38 per cent to 40 per cent.

German elections will be held on September 18.

DPA


Subject: German news

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