Tariffs: Collective bargaining steel: Employers offer 3.1 percent

Collective bargaining in the north-west German and east German steel industries began in Düsseldorf on Monday with an employer offer.

Tariffs: Collective bargaining steel: Employers offer 3.1 percent

Collective bargaining in the north-west German and east German steel industries began in Düsseldorf on Monday with an employer offer. The employers offered a wage increase of 3.1 percent for a period of 15 months. IG Metall rejected this as “completely inadequate”. She is demanding an increase of 8.5 percent over a 12-month period.

High inflation has eaten a big hole in the wallets of many employees over the last year and a half and is still putting a strain on people today, the union explained. The employers announced that, given expected inflation of less than three percent, the demand of 8.5 percent was “completely out of date.” The first round for the two tariff districts took place together in Düsseldorf.

The employers “categorically” rejected IG Metall’s demand for a 32-hour week with full wage compensation. This is “neither possible to organize nor finance,” according to the Stahl employers’ association.

Positive effects expected with shorter working hours

The district manager of IG Metall Berlin-Brandenburg-Saxony and negotiator for the East German steel industry, Dirk Schulze, was convinced that reducing working hours would help in the search for skilled workers. "A good work-life balance is very important, especially for young people. Shorter working hours are therefore a competitive advantage over other industries," he said, according to the statement. A reduction in working hours also leads to fewer absences due to illness and higher productivity.

The district manager of IG Metall NRW and negotiator NRW, Knut Giesler, emphasized the social responsibility of employers. After switching to direct reduction plants, fewer people would be needed for green steel production, he said. “Reducing working hours with full compensation plays an outstanding role here. It secures employment and wages.”

Around 68,000 people are employed in the steel and iron industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Lower Saxony, and around 8,000 in the East German steel industry. The next collective bargaining for the North West German steel industry has been scheduled for November 23rd. The collective bargaining parties want to continue negotiations for the East German steel industry on November 24th. The peace obligation ends at the end of November.

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