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German Metal Workers Union to Seek Up to 6.5% Wage Increase

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Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Germany’s metal workers may seek as much as 6.5 percent in pay increases in the coming round of wage negotiations, labor union IG Metall’s branch for the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said.

“In the coming weeks, we will see golden balance sheets and record earnings left and right,” Joerg Hofmann, who heads the unions operations in the southern German state, said in an e-mailed statement today. “Workers are demanding no more than their fair share of what has been generated though their work.”

While the demands coincide with weaker economic growth caused by the European debt crisis, workers in the continent’s biggest economy are targeting a noticeable raise after the union had put job security for its 2.25 million members above pay in the past agreement in 2010, partly by extending the use of short-term work.

IG Metall will decide on the final wage demands on Feb. 23, and warning strikes will be possible after April 28, according to the statement. Apart from higher wages, the union said it seeks to curb the use of subcontracted employees, and push for permanent jobs for apprentices.

The unions claim is “economically not justifiable,” Rainer Dulger, who heads the Suedwestmetall employers’ group for the region, said in a separate statement, as any negotiation must be guided by “future economic performance.”

IG Metall represents 750,000 workers in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the state which is home to some on the countries largest employers, including Daimler AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, and Porsche Automobil Holding SE.

To contact the reporter on this story: Richard Weiss in Frankfurt at rweiss5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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