German union demands 5.0% pay hikes for metalworking sector

29th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

Germany's powerful metalworking union IG Metall said Monday it will demand pay increases of 5.0 percent for the sector in an upcoming wage round, traditionally setting a benchmark for other key industries.

IG Metall said in a statement that its leadership had officially adopted the proposed demand at a meeting on Monday.

The union represents and negotiates wages for more than three million workers in a wide range of sectors from the automobile industry to the engineering and machine tools sectors.

A five-percent pay rise would enable its members to benefit from the robust performance of German industry, said IG Metall president Joerg Hofmann.

It would also help strengthen domestic demand and therefore be beneficial to the economy as a whole.

The current wage agreement between IG Metall and the employers' federation Gesamtmetall is scheduled to expire on March 31.

Last year, IG Metall originally demanded pay rises of 5.4 percent for its members but eventually settled on 3.4 percent after tough negotiations and repeated walkouts.

Gesamtmetall chief Rainer Dulger accused IG Metall of nourishing "false hopes" among the sector's workforce.

"Salaries in our sector have risen by 20 percent since 2008, but productivity has increased by only two percent," he said in an interview published on the federation's website, arguing that Germany's attractiveness as an industrial site was in danger.

© 2016 AFP

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