Germany’s biggest union starts warning strikes over wage demands

A protest by IG Metall in 2019. (Reference image by C.Suthorn, Wikimedia Commons.)

Germany’s biggest labor union began a series of walkouts that will continue in the coming week, as metals and electronics workers seek an 8% wage increase amid soaring inflation.

The warning strikes began early Saturday morning, with some 1,300 workers participating in Bavaria alone, said Timo Guenther, a spokesman for IG Metall in Bavaria. Strikes are planned on Monday at Robert Bosch GmbH and logistics supplier Syncreon, and further walkouts will continue in Bavaria through the week, Guenther said by phone on Sunday.

The union is seeking its biggest wage increases since 2008. The outcome may be a sign of how pay negotiations develop more broadly in Germany, where inflation unexpectedly accelerated in October. Consumer prices climbed 11.6% from a year earlier.

Some 500 workers also went on strike Saturday in Lower Saxony, while 300 workers walked out in Rhineland-Palatinate, according to German newswire DPA. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for Nov. 8 in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

(By Naomi Kresge)

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