German Handelsblatt: Auto industry: Collective bargaining with Volkswagen: IG Metall demands eight percent higher wages004641

An employee checks a Volkswagen at the Zwickau plant

IG Metall wants to push through a wage increase of around eight percent for the 125,000 employees at Volkswagen.

(Photo: dpa)

Volkswagen is facing a tough bargaining round. In the forthcoming negotiations on a new in-house collective agreement for the 125,000 VW employees in West Germany, IG Metall is demanding eight percent higher wages for a twelve-month period.
The large wage commission of the industrial union, which is particularly well represented at the Wolfsburg carmaker, justified this on Wednesday with the increased inflation and excellent business figures from Volkswagen. “Our substantive collective bargaining demand fits in with the times,” explained negotiator Thorsten Gröger. Inflation destroys prosperity, puts incomes into perspective and puts many households in economic difficulties.
Gröger explained that the union would bring its arguments into the negotiations with the employer in the fall. “If necessary, also with large-scale mobilization of employees on the street and in front of the factory gates!” In addition to a permanent wage increase, the union is demanding an extension of the collective agreement for partial retirement, improvements in the conversion of wages into days off and the assumption of semester fees for dual students.

Volkswagen announced that they had taken note of IG Metall’s position, but would not comment on the union’s demands before the start of collective bargaining talks.

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At VW, IG Metall traditionally negotiates an in-house wage agreement for the employees in the six west German plants, the group’s own financial service provider Financial Services and some subsidiaries. The wage demand corresponds to that which the trade union has set for the nationwide 3.9 million employees in the metal and electrical industry in view of the high profits of car companies such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Negotiations at VW from October are to take place at a later date than the entire industry. The peace obligation ends on November 30th. From then on, the union can call for warning strikes.
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