Ig metall intensifies strikes

IG Metall has expanded its warning strikes. At midnight, the employees at Bosch and Siemens in Bavaria began the strike. At the Daimler plant in Dusseldorf, the entire night shift walked off the job. Metalworkers nationwide to participate in the course of the day.

Employers, meanwhile, called on the union to take into account the situation in the industry, which has been exacerbated by the financial crisis and downturn. Nationwide, around 3.6 million people work in the industry. The head of IG Metall in the traditional pilot district of Baden-Wurttemberg, Jorg Hofmann, announced widespread warning strikes throughout the southwest this week. He told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" that "a great many colleagues will take part in the warning strikes, everywhere in the Landle, in an increasing wave". In North Rhine-Westphalia, 55 plants are to go on strike on Monday, including Daimler's Sprinter plant in Dusseldorf. Strikes are then to be organized in around 190 other plants on Tuesday. More work stoppages to follow until Friday.

"This minus offer is an insult"

On Saturday, around 8,000 people across Germany had already taken part in the first warning strikes after the expiration of the peace obligation. One focal point was Ingolstadt, where around 4,000 Audi employees briefly stopped work, according to IG Metall in Frankfurt am Main. Night shift workers also took part in the warning strikes in numerous other cities, including Neckarsulm, Offenbach, Neuwied, Paderborn, Itzehoe, Berlin, Hanover and Augsburg.IG Metall vice president Detlef Wetzel criticized the employers' collective bargaining offer of a total of 2.9 percent. "This minus offer is an insult," he said. It neither recognizes the performance of the people, nor does it compensate for the price increase. "On this basis, a quick agreement is not possible," he added. At the same time, he reiterated the union's demand of eight percent.

"To turn such a wheel is inappropriate"

Meanwhile, Gesamtmetall President Martin Kannegiesser warns IG Metall against strikes. "A strike that is designed to damage the company, as it was 150 years ago, ultimately affects everyone, including the employees with a time delay," Kannegiesser told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. In a sector as interconnected as the metal industry, traditional industrial action has become obsolete. "To turn such a wheel when it comes to the extent of a wage increase is unreasonable," he added. Kannegiesser criticized that the union's demand stemmed from an entirely different economic situation and mood. The union had so far failed to respond to the changed situation. Employer President Dieter Hundt also criticized the attitude of IG Metall. The demand is exorbitantly excessive, he told Deutschlandfunk radio. The metal employers' offer of 2.9 percent is fair and appropriate to the situation, he said. "I appeal to IG Metall to be open to this proposal and help reach a deal that continues the encouraging economic development of recent years," Hundt said.

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