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Germany's IG Metall Union Says Walkouts Over Pay Widening

IG Metall, Germany’s biggest manufacturing-industry union, reported a 69 percent jump in the number of workers taking part in short strikes to pressure employers to increase pay and hiring.

More than 270,000 workers have participated in temporary walkouts in the German electronics and metal industries from the start of protests on April 30 until mid-afternoon today, Frankfurt-based IG Metall said in a statement today. That compares with 160,000 who took part as of yesterday.

The protests started in the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where companies such as Daimler AG, Porsche SE and Robert Bosch GmbH are based and where the union is focusing on talks with the metal-industry employers association as the benchmark region for contracts nationwide. Walkouts and rallies took place today in most states, IG Metall said.

IG Metall is demanding a wage increase of 6.5 percent, more say over temporary employment and guarantees of permanent contracts for young people who complete apprenticeships. Suedwestmetall, the Baden-Wuerttemberg employers’ group, is offering a 3 percent raise. Talks are scheduled to resume on May 8 and may continue on May 15, according to the union.

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