VW workers stage warningstrikes ahead of wage talks

1st November 2004, Comments 0 comments

1 November 2004 , HANOVER - Thousands of workers at German car maker Volkswagen began another series of warning strikes Monday to coincide with a sixth round of wage talks. Around 3,500 employees stopped work at the Baunatal plant near Kassel Monday morning, and similar stoppages were underway or planned at other western German plants. Some 600 Volkswagen night-shift workers stayed off the job at the company's Braunschweig plant. Their numbers were set to be swelled by day-shift workers in a stoppage set t

1 November 2004

HANOVER - Thousands of workers at German car maker Volkswagen began another series of warning strikes Monday to coincide with a sixth round of wage talks.

Around 3,500 employees stopped work at the Baunatal plant near Kassel Monday morning, and similar stoppages were underway or planned at other western German plants.

Some 600 Volkswagen night-shift workers stayed off the job at the company's Braunschweig plant. Their numbers were set to be swelled by day-shift workers in a stoppage set to last four hours.

Workers planned similar limited stoppages at VW factories in Salzgitter, Emden and Wolfsburg.

The warning strikes, which began on Friday, are to press union demands for higher wages and job guarantees. A sixth round of talks between Volkswagen management and the IG Metall labour union was due to begin later in the day in Hanover.

Hartmut Meine, IG Metall's chief negotiator at the talks, said Sunday said he expected Monday's negotiations to be "a key pointer" to whether a compromise agreement could be reached.

It is thought the two sides will be trying to reach agreement before the next supervisory board meeting on November 12.

Differences between the two sides had remained unresolved after a fifth round of talks Friday on a new wage deal for the 103,000 VW workers in the company's six western German plants.

VW wants a two-year wage freeze, saying it is the only way it can guarantee jobs. It is seeking to cut labour costs by EUR two billion, or 30 percent, by 2011 to retain competitiveness.

The union wants job guarantees plus wage rises of 2 percent.

The talks have come against a backdrop of falling profits at Volkswagen, with the company reporting Thursday a 65 percent drop in third-quarter net profit from the same period a year ago.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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