German union seeks 5.5% raise for auto, machinery workers

IG Metall chairman says increase is needed to strengthen domestic demand.

November 12, 2014   by The Canadian Press

BERLIN — Germany’s largest industrial union is calling for a 5.5% pay increase next year for some 3.7 million workers in Europe’s biggest economy.

The IG Metall union’s leadership made the recommendation ahead of negotiations in January.

The figure is well above Germany’s 0.8% annual inflation rate but union chairman Detlef Wetzel pointed to high corporate earnings and forecasts of growth. He argued that “it is also urgently needed to strengthen domestic demand.”

IG Metall represents workers in the automobile and machinery industries, among others. In Germany, wage deals are generally negotiated on a sector-wide basis.

In the last deal in mid-2013, IG Metall secured a 3.4% raise that was followed this May by a further 2.2%. It originally sought a 5.5% raise over one year.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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