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Germany's engineers to strike over pay

Germany's engineers to strike over pay
Photo: DPA

Germany's powerful IG Metall labour union called on Friday for country-wide strikes in the key engineering and metalworking sectors from this weekend in an escalating dispute over pay.

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IG Metall said in a statement that workers in a whole range of states - from Berlin and Brandenburg in the north to Bavaria in the south of Germany – would put down tools from midnight Saturday in protest over the "totally unacceptable" wage offer from employers.

Among the big industrial companies affected would be truck-maker MAN in Augsburg, industrial conglomerate Siemens via its Osram unit in Berlin, heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp in Andernach, and automotive parts suppliers Continental and Bosch, the statement said.

The wage negotiations in the electrical, engineering and metalworking sectors, which employ more than 3.5 million people in Germany, are the bellwether for other key sectors of industry.

Talks are currently in a third round, and while unions are demanding pay hikes of 6.5 percent, employers have so far tabled an offer for 3.0 percent over 14 months.

Earlier this month, after several weeks of negotiations interrupted by warning strikes across the country, the two million people working in Germany's public sector secured a 6.3 percent pay hike for two years.

AFP/jcw

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