POST TIME: 6 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
German metalworkers return to talks after week of strikes

German metalworkers return to talks after week of strikes

AFP, FRANKFURT AM MAIN: Germany’s powerful metalworking union IG Metall returned to the negotiating table with employers yesterday, with the threat of strikes hanging over talks after a week of walkouts.

The latest round of haggling will begin at 11 am (1000 GMT) in Stuttgart, capital of southwestern Baden-Wuerttemberg state, IG Metall said in a statement.

Around half a million workers drawn from sectors as varied as carmaking, electrical and electronic goods or metal production downed tools last week in 24-hour “warning strikes”, a new weapon the union has added to its arsenal as it faces off against employers.

If no new deal emerges this week, IG Metall could call an indefinite strike, not seen in the sector since 2003.

Union chief Joerg Hoffman warned Friday that worker representatives would not meet bosses again unless they significantly improved their response to the union’s demands for higher pay and the right to temporarily switch to part-time hours.

IG Metall is negotiating on behalf of around 3.9 million workers in a critical sector for Europe’s largest economy.