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Metal Industry Workers Demand Higher Wages In Germany

Metal Industry Worker

Employees in Germany's metal and electrical industries are gearing up for fall wage negotiations, primarily demanding higher wages to combat the effects of inflation.

This demand emerged from a survey by the industrial union IG Metall, which included 318,453 employees across 2,705 companies.

The survey results have initiated the debate on wage demands for the upcoming major negotiations.

According to IG Metall, the employees are calling for "significantly higher wages to offset the effects of inflation."

In addition to higher wages, most respondents indicated that self-determined working hours are important.

Other critical topics for the collective bargaining negotiations include securing jobs and locations and provisions for retirement.


IG Metall revealed that 72 percent of employees feel the pinch of sustained high costs and seek to boost their purchasing power.

Trainees and dual students are particularly affected, with 93 percent reporting increased living costs.

Christiane Benner, IG Metall's first chairwoman, said: "Inflation may be slowing down, but prices remain high.”

Despite concerns about the broader economy, with 41 percent of survey respondents describing the economic situation as bad or very bad, employees were more optimistic about their own companies.

According to the survey, 36 percent rated their company's situation as satisfactory, and 44 percent as good or very good.

Nadine Boguslawski, the union's collective bargaining director, said: "Overall, employees perceive the economic situation of companies as much more positive than the current lamentations of the employers' associations would sugges.

She added: "There is something to distribute."

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IG Metall also emphasized that higher wages would stimulate private consumption, described as "the most important pillar of the German economy, even ahead of exports."

Thorsten Gröger, district manager of IG Metall Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, said: "The aim here is to make our colleagues more financially robust through further increases in wages and thus distribute the purchasing power of the upturn."

The IG Metall board plans to recommend specific wage demands to the district collective bargaining committees on June 17.

Current wage agreements in the metal and electrical industries are valid until September.

The most recent wage dispute in the industry concluded in November 2022.

Following warning strikes involving nearly a million participants, it resulted in 5.2 percent and 3.3 percent wage increases, along with a €3,000 inflation flat rate.

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