German union to stage protest at stock market operator

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German trade union Verdi has urged staff at the stock market operator Deutsche Boerse to protest in favour of jobs it says are threatened by a merger with NYSE Euronext, and to press for higher wages.

A demonstration is scheduled at noon (1100 GMT) on Wednesday at the operator's headquarters in Eschborn, west of Frankfurt, a statement said.

"We think this merger is not necessary because German stock market activity will suffer and the system of staff representation on the supervisory board will disappear," Verdi leader Herbert Bayer told AFP.

Deutsche Boerse boss Reto Francioni told German business daily Handelsblatt Monday that the huge financial market operator formed by Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext will probably use the latter's stock trading platform.

That would mean the end of the German operator's Xetra platform.

But "Frankfurt and the financial sector will profit" from the merger as well since its trading platform for derivative products would probably be retained and fears over a decline were "unfounded," Francioni said.

Verdi also wants to resume talks with the German market operator on staff wages, and is calling for a four-percent increase.

Deutsche Boerse management has offered 2.3 percent, Bayer said.

The company employs around 3,400 people worldwide, including some 1,600 in Germany.

© 2011 AFP

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