German union seeks 5% raise for millions of workers

Demands come ahead of negotiations starting March 9 for automotive and machinery workers.

February 29, 2016   by The Canadian Press

BERLIN — Germany’s biggest industrial union is seeking a 5% pay raise for some 3.8 million workers in Europe’s biggest economy.

IG Metall’s demand Feb. 29 comes ahead of negotiations starting March 9 for employees in the automobile and machinery sectors among others. The union is seeking a 12-month deal.

Germany’s annual inflation rate fell to zero in February from 0.5% the previous month, according to an official estimate. However, IG Metall argues that companies’ earnings are healthy and wage increases help strengthen domestic demand, and economic growth.

Last year, the union secured a 3.4% pay increase for industrial workers after going into negotiations with a call for a 5.5% raise.

The German economy grew by 1.7% last year and is expected to repeat that performance this year.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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