The country’s largest trade union, IG Metall, recently approved a 3.4 percent wage hike for Germany’s southwest region, which is the home bases of automakers such as Daimler and Porsche.
The union, which has a workforce representation of 3.7 million employees, previously proposed a 5.5 percent salary increase for the current year, claiming the growth registered lately justified the claim. On the other hand the companies offered a pay surge of just 2.2 percent from March 1. The deals made in the region are usually a good indicator for templates that would see agreements all over Germany. “This is, by a wide margin, the biggest real wage increase for years,” commented employer association Suedwestmetall president Stefan Wolf, calling it painful for the companies. According to the union, a series of token strikes was organized last month to give weight to their pay demands – approximately 100,000 workers embarked on warning strikes at 480 factories, most of them located in the southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
“This deal guarantees that the most important engine of the economy at the moment, private consumption, will continue to perform at a high level,” said Roman Zitzelsberger, head of IG Metall’s Baden-Wuerttemberg unit. He added that after marathon negotiations the agreement was a “satisfactory compromise.” The salary spike is at least three times above the level of the country’s inflation rate, which averaged 0.9 percent last year. The metalworkers union and the Suedwestmetall employers association also shook hands on a one-time payment of 150 euros, part-time conditions for senior workers and job-related training for employees in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The industrial and carmaking hub is also the home for the largest auto supplier in the world – Robert Bosch GmbH.
Via Automotive News Europe