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February 8, 2011

GERMANY: VW union satisfied after marathon talks produce 3.2% deal

Union representatives have expressed satisfaction at today's conclusion of pay negotiations that will see Volkswagen's 100,000 German workers receive a 3.2% wage increase, despite putting in a 6% claim.

Union representatives have expressed satisfaction at today’s conclusion of pay negotiations that will see Volkswagen ‘s 100,000 German workers receive a 3.2% wage increase, despite putting in a 6% claim.

The deal – that is considerably above Germany’s inflation rate of between 1.2% and 2% – was finally settled after mammoth three-day talks that concluded in 13-hour negotiations yesterday in Hanover between VW and the IG Metall union.

“I think it is a good agreement between the unions and Volkswagen – the other factories for the automobile industry pay 2.7%,” an IG Metall spokesman for Lower Saxony in Hanover told just-auto.

“We asked for 6% – it was too high for Volkswagen and it was very difficult for us to get 3.2%. Yesterday, we talked [for] 13 hours and it was the third day of talks. It is a good situation at Volkswagen – I think there will be very stable industrial relations.”

The pay rise applies to VW ‘s 95,000 autoworkers and 5,000 employees in its Financial Services division and is for 16 months until the end of May 2012.

As well as the base pay rise, VW employees will also receive a one-time payment of 1% with a minimum of EUR500 (US$683).

“The company and IG Metall have found a fair solution that offers a very decent rise in pay while preserving competitiveness,” said VW human resources board member Horst Neumann, adding Volkswagen ‘s collective agreement would continue to take its orientation from the regional collective wage agreement for the metal industry.

The pay rise will take effect from 1 May, which is eight months earlier than planned said Volkswagen .

The new company collective agreement applies to the VW factories in Wolfsburg , Braunschweig, Hanover, Salzgitter, Kassel and Emden.

VW Financial Services subsidiaries AutoVision, Sitech, Autostadt , Volkswagen Immobilien and Wolfsburg are also included.

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