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German Bank Workers’ Union Ver.di Repeats Call for Pay Increase

German labor union Ver.di repeated its call for a 6 percent wage increase for 220,000 workers at the nation’s banks before a third round of talks start this week.

“We expect both private and public banks to finally present a negotiable offer,” Beate Mensch, who is leading the wage negotiations with employers on behalf of Ver.di, said in a statement today. “Such a step is not only important for the employees but for the whole industry.”

The pay demands may increase banks’ costs as German lenders work to fill a 13.1 billion-euro ($17.2 billion) capital hole identified by European regulators and the sovereign debt crisis weighs on earnings. Moderate wage claims that helped Germany climb out of recession in 2009 are being abandoned in industries from banks to engineering and public services, helping support private consumption.

Ver.di and the banks will resume negotiations on May 4 in Frankfurt. The union won a 6.5 percent wage increase last month for about 2 million public-sector workers.

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