West German steelworkers stage warning strikes

19th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

19 April 2005, ESSEN - Some 14,000 steel industry workers staged brief walkouts in three western German states on Tuesday to step up the pressure during negotiations for a new wage agreement.

19 April 2005

ESSEN - Some 14,000 steel industry workers staged brief walkouts in three western German states on Tuesday to step up the pressure during negotiations for a new wage agreement.

The metalworkers union IG Metall branch in Essen, in the heart of Germany's heavy industrial Ruhr region, said workers were called off their jobs in 40 companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, and Bremen.

The biggest walkouts were in the industrial city of Duisburg, where some 6,000 workers staged warning strikes at numerous companies.

Workers also struck at companies in Bochum, Muelheim, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Salzgitter, Krefeld and other cities in pressing wage hike demands before Wednesday's start of the fourth round of negotiations with employers.

IG Metall is demanding a one-year, 6.5 percent pay rise for some 85,000 steelworkers. Employers have offered a 1.9 percent wage hike over 19 months and one-off cash bonus of EUR 500.

"The one-way street of forbearance must come to an end," said the IG Metall district chief for North Rhine-Westphalia, Detlef Wetzel. "When companies steer themselves on the path of profit, then this must also be the direction for employees."

DPA

Subject: German news

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