IG Metall Strike for 4% Pay Increase in German Steel Industry
Germany's largest trade union IG Metall has called on workers in German iron and steel industry to stage warning strikes to raise pressure on employers to agree to a 4% wage increase, reduced working hours and re-training to safeguard jobs. IG Metall district manager in North Rhine-Westphalia Mr Knut Giesler had recently said “In the fourth round of negotiations, the employers did not make any specific and binding proposals on the topics of job security, future collective agreements and pay. Therefore, a labor dispute is now inevitable after the end of the peace obligation. Our planning is complete. From March 2nd, we will call on employees in North Rhine-Westphalia to go on warning strikes.”
IG Metall Chairman Mr Joerg Hofmann told Reuters "Employers and the labour union last year agreed to not raise wages and instead focus on safeguarding jobs during the crisis. We said let's put in a moratorium and you will secure employment in return. But now, what we have to say is that we already have 120,000 fewer jobs in the sector. Employers are using the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext for job cuts. There has been a V-shaped recovery during the crisis in the main industries since the summer break. This means orders recovered significantly by the end of the year. That's why it is necessary to put the topics of job security, shaping the future and stabilising income on the agenda. Employers have a responsibility to do their part now by keeping purchasing power stable. In 2020 there was no tariff increase. We need them this year because otherwise the workers will suffer a loss in real wages.”
In addition to the 4% pay hike, IG Metall wants to define a framework for future collective agreements at company level which should secure employment in the transition to electric mobility and digitisation through re-training.