`The German Worker Is Making A Sacrifice'

With jobs fleeing the country, unions agree to lower wages and higher productivity

Hans-Gunter Eidtner felt like the first officer on a jet that was losing altitude with sickening speed. Head of the works council at the Hamburg factory of struggling Daimler Benz Aerospace (DASA), Eidtner faced the ugly prospect of 800 fellow workers losing their jobs by the end of 1998. But the 60-year-old labor boss last month averted disaster, persuading the powerful IG Metall union to O.K. concessions, such as axing overtime pay. "We had a big fight" to push through the givebacks, says Eidtner.

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