German IG Metall Seeks 6% Pay Raise as Economy Soars

IG Metall, Germany’s largest labor union, said it wants “fair” wage increases for workers in the iron and steel industries as the economy recovers.

IG Metall will demand a 6 percent wage increase for 85,000 workers in the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bremen when negotiations start on Sept. 6, the union said today in an e-mailed statement.

“All employees have to benefit from the upswing,” Oliver Burkhard, IG Metall’s regional leader in North Rhine-Westphalia, said in the statement. “After successful crisis management it remains to be seen whether there will be a successful upswing management.”

The union also aims to negotiate “fair” conditions for temporary workers and shorter working hours for older employees, it said.

The steel industry’s current pay deal was reached in March 2009 and expires Aug. 31, IG Metall spokesman Wolfgang Nettelstroth said in a phone interview. It’s not clear yet how long the new agreement will run, he said.

That deal is separate from a contract negotiated by IG Metall in February this year for workers in other industries such as automotive and engineering.

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