Airbus, unions near to wage deal

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Aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the giant IG Metall labour union are close to settling a long-running wage dispute and look set to sign a deal this week, IG Metall said on Tuesday.

"The negotiations on a wage agreement for Airbus in Germany will be resumed on Wednesday in Hamburg," the union said in an e-mailed invitation to the media.

Both sides were "largely in agreement and will sign the main points of a deal tomorrow (Wednesday)," IG Metall said, adding that a news conference would be held afterwards.

Present at the news conference will be the heads of Airbus's German operations Guenter Butschek and Joachim Sauer, the head of the company's works council, Johann Dahnken, and IG Metall's negotiator Daniel Friedrich.

For the past 18 months, management and unions have been trying to hammer out a wage deal for the 16,000 employees at Airbus's four sites in Germany, including a range of issues from an employment guarantee to a ceiling on the number of temporary workers that can be hired.

A major sticking point in negotiations was over commitments to increase employee productivity.

Some 11,000 employees downed tools on October 7 in a warning strike.

© 2011 AFP

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