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  1. #1
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    German strikes spread

    German industrial workers widened industrial action yesterday, with nearly 60,000 staff at 280 metals and engineering companies downing their tools in support of wage claims by union IG Metall.
    With the economy in robust health and unemployment at record lows, the country’s biggest union is demanding an inflation-busting 6% pay hike this year for about 3.9mn workers.
    It is also making a push for shorter hours, more than two decades after it won the 35-hour work week for Germans.
    Ahead of a round of regional negotiations due to begin tomorrow, employers have so far offered 2% plus a one-off €200 ($240) payment in the first quarter and rejected demands for shorter hours.
    In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia alone, the industrial heartland of Germany, workers at 140 companies including Siemens and Thyssenkrupp staged walkouts and marched outside factory gates carrying banners.
    In other parts of the country, companies including engineering group Siemens, carmaker BMW, automotive suppliers Schaeffler and farm equipment maker John Deere were affected.
    Since the start of last week, a total of around 80,000 workers have taken action across the nation, including yesterday’s walkouts, the union said.
    IG Metall has announced further walkouts for today.
    Such industrial action is common in Germany before sector-wide pay negotiations, and similar walkouts took place in 2016 and 2015.
    The union has made it clear it is drawing a line in the sand regarding shorter working hours and has threatened to move beyond walkouts lasting only a few hours to all-out strikes across the sector.
    The union has called for higher wages as well as a right to reduce weekly hours to 28 from 35 and return to full-time employment after two years for shift workers and those who need to care for children or elderly relatives.
    Employers have so far rejected the demand because it includes a provision under which companies would help make up for the pay shortfall for some workers who shorten their hours.
    Talks between unions and employers’ associations are set for tomorrow in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where Volkswagen’s Porsche, Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler and automotive suppliers including Bosch are based.
    “If we do not see any willingness to even discuss the topic seriously on Thursday, the situation will escalate further,” Roman Zitzelsberger, head of IG Metall in Baden-Wuerttemberg, told daily Handelsblatt.
    Next door in Bavaria negotiations will resume on January 15, and to the north in North Rhine-Westphalia on January 18.
    The labour dispute follows a strong year of growth in Europe’s largest economy, driven by domestic demand from record numbers of German workers while borrowing costs and inflation remain low and exporters benefit from a global recovery.
    That pattern should extend through 2018, with the Ifo economic institute last month forecasting growth of 2.6% for the year.

    German industrial workers widen strikes

  2. #2
    Neo
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    The union has called for higher wages as well as a right to reduce weekly hours to 28 from 35

  3. #3
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    ^They want to work less and get same monthly pay as they now have. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    German Prince Philip did better than that - stop "working" and get a pay rise! If you dare to dream and all that....

  5. #5
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    An urgent meeting of UN SC already called for...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    ^They want to work less and get same monthly pay as they now have. Good luck.
    No, they want an increase of the hourly rate & the right to reduce working hours.

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroller View Post
    No, they want an increase of the hourly rate & the right to reduce working hours.
    Seems that works out same as what I said. Decrease working hours but more pay per hour.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus View Post
    German Prince Philip did better than that - stop "working" and get a pay rise! If you dare to dream and all that....
    He's a bubble and squeak, he already knew how to be a lazy, entitled arsehole.

  9. #9
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    About as greek as you are Bahraini.

    Dog might be born in a stable, but it doesn't make him a horse. Inbred german family - the whole lot of them - all inbred with the leeching coonts he married into.

    Bobs his uncle... and his father.


  10. #10
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    The German unions have a lot to answer for. They had my yearly hours dropped to meet there silly rules and then wonder why I have 3 months holiday in Thailand. Even with 3 months off, I carried 5 weeks into 2018.

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