Wage negotiations in the metal working industry in the key state of Baden-Württemberg have reached an agreement this afternoon, thus avoiding widespread strikes that had been planned for tonight.


 


Workers will receive a 4.1% pay increase from June 2007. From June 2008 they will receive a further 1.7% after that date, according to Automobilwoche. A performance-related bonus of 0.7% will also be payable in June 2008. A one-off payment of EUR400 will be payable for April and May 2007. The agreement runs for 19 months until 31st October 2008.


 


The agreement applies to 800,000 workers in Baden-Württemberg, but whatever is agreed in that state is traditionally considered to be the precedent for agreements in other states, affecting 3.4 million metal workers nationally.


 


The negotiations began on Thursday and lasted for 20 hours. At the beginning of the talks IG Metall had been threatening strike action if employers would not agree to demands for a 6.5% pay increase for 3.4 million workers in metal working industries. “Either we come to an agreement in the next few days or we will decide mid-May whether there will be a battle, said IG Metall representative, Berthold Huber in an interview with a local German newspaper. Employers were offering a 2.5% pay increase and a performance bonus of 0.5%.