Daimler AG, ThyssenKrupp AG and Volkswagen AG were among the manufacturers targeted today as Germany’s IG Metall labor union expanded its strikes to include 36,000 workers in a dispute aimed at improving pay and terms.
More than 100 businesses have been affected by the so-called warning strikes since April 29, IG Metall said in an e-mailed statement. A walkout by 800 workers at Daimler’s Sprinter van plant in Dusseldorf today followed a strike at the company’s plant in Rastatt on April 30 and came before planned strikes at Porsche AG and VW.
More than 12,000 workers had walked out from 55 businesses in Daimler’s home state of Baden-Wuerttemberg as of midday today, IG Metall said. The union is seeking a 6.5 percent pay raise, unrestricted full-time hiring at the end of apprenticeships and more say over the employment of temporary workers.
The union rejected as a “provocation” a 3 percent wage increase offered April 19 by the Gesamtmetall manufacturing employers’ association Baden-Wuerttemberg branch.
Further strikes planned for today include protests in Freiburg with a motorcade carrying 650 workers from Daimler, General Electric Co., Solar-Fabrik AG and other metalworking and electronics companies in the area, Marco Sprengler, an IG Metall spokesman in the southern German city, said by telephone on April 30.
As many as 4,500 workers at Audi’s plant in Neckarsulm, where the luxury carmaker builds such models as the A4, A6 and A8, may take part in a stoppage May 3, coinciding with an hour-long protest rally by as many as 2,500 Porsche workers in Stuttgart, IG Metall representatives said April 30.
Strikes so far have included 400 MAN AG employees in Augsburg and 250 TDK Corp. workers in Munich, according to the IG Metall website. Volkswagen workers in Zwickau, near the Czech Republic border, also took part in the protests.
The next talks between IG Metall and Suedwestmetall, the Baden-Wuerttemberg branch of the employers’ association, are scheduled to resume on May 8 and continue on May 15 if needed.