German Union IG Metall Warn of Major Strike image

The IG Metall union, the most powerful in Germany, warned that its members will launch a major strike action unless a wage agreement is reached.

Over the past recent days 400,000 workers have joined the few short ‘warning strikes’, aimed at big German companies, including Siemens, BMW and Bosch.

“The IG Metall wants a quick deal, but on fair terms,” the union’s deputy leader Detlef Wetzel told Monday’s edition of Bild daily, demanding employers raise their offer.

Detlef Wetzel added that if an agreement is not reached by the end of this week the union members will “go to the ballot after Pentecost” and he offered a May 21st deadline for the union members to vote on the next industrial action. IG Metall is the largest in Europe and has more than 2.2 million members. Authorities are closely watching the wage talks in the metalworking sector, as they set the tone for the rest of the industries.

IG Metall demands a salary increase of 5.5% this year for 3.7 million workers in the metal industry, including different branches from electronics to automobiles. The employers have came up with an offer of a pay rise of 2.3% over a slightly different timeframe.