German union eyes pay breakthrough next week

20th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

IG Metall, Germany's powerful metalworkers' union, is hoping for a breakthrough in pay talks for the nearly four million workers in the sector next week, its leader said Friday.

IG Metall chief Detlef Wetzel told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview that union negotiators were readying for key talks on Monday "where we want to achieve a breakthrough.

"We're heading there in the expectation that it can work," Wetzel said.

"We're now at a point where it must be clear that there must be a result or no result. If not, then we'll begin strike ballots in a number of regions and we'll call for action," he said.

"Employers will have to expect strikes if no deal is reached."

IG Metall is demanding pay rises of 5.5 percent for the nearly four million workers in sectors including electronics, the auto industry, household electrical goods and semi-conductors.

Its pay deals are used as a benchmark for much of German industry.

In recent weeks, around 700,000 workers in the sector have staged warning strikes and temporary stoppages across the country.

© 2015 AFP

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