IG Metall is hoping for a result on November 17th

Warning strike by IG Metall in Pfullendorf

The union is demanding eight percent more wages.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin After the start of the fourth round of collective bargaining for the approximately 3.9 million employees in the metal and electrical industry, the fronts remain hardened. The IG Metall district leader in Baden-Württemberg, Roman Zitzelsberger, complained that employers were not taking any steps “toward results”.

The collective bargaining conflict can only be solved “with a sustainable percentage increase in wages”, but the employer side has not submitted a substantial offer with a clear percentage. Therefore, the conflict is “inevitably” heading for further escalation.

The chief negotiator for the Südwestmetall employers’ association, Harald Marquardt, said after the talks in Böblingen that the employees would not benefit if the companies did not survive the current crisis: “For the employees it is about preserving prosperity, for many of our members it is about the bare existence.”

He appealed to the union to refrain from escalating the collective bargaining conflict and to seek a solution at the negotiating table. The will to come to a solution at the next negotiation date on November 17 is there, even if both sides are still “miles apart”.

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The IG Metall in Baden-Württemberg apparently actually wants to refrain from further escalation until the next negotiation date. In the meantime, IG Metall district leader Zitzelsberger wants to keep in touch with Marquardt by telephone.

Should negotiations fail again, the union could use measures such as 24-hour warning strikes or coercive strikes. IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann made that clear in the run-up to the fourth round of negotiations.

>> Read about this: IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann announces strikes: “The employers are not responding to our demands”

Also on Tuesday, the IG Metall negotiated in Bavaria, where the fourth round of negotiations between the Association of the Bavarian Metal and Electrical Industry (VBM) and the IG Metall was adjourned without result. The next round in North Rhine-Westphalia is scheduled for Thursday. In the past, one of the three regional districts usually agreed on a pilot degree, which was then taken over by the other districts.

On November 14, the IG Metall board of directors is then to discuss the status that has been reached in the negotiations conducted at the regional level.

IG Metall sees good earnings in the industry

The employers had offered an inflation compensation premium of 3000 euros in the third round of negotiations. This corresponds exactly to the amount for special payments that the federal government wants to exempt from taxes and social security contributions by the end of 2024.

IG Metall, on the other hand, is demanding eight percent more money for a term of twelve months. She justifies her claim with the strong price increases from which the employees would have to suffer and the good order and earnings situation at the majority of companies in the industry.

Employers see companies as vulnerable as employees

Employers point to a very varied picture in the industry and an imminent recession. The companies would suffer from the high energy prices just as much as the employees. According to a general metal survey, one in six companies sees their existence threatened by the sharp rise in gas and electricity prices.

In addition, the employers were willing to talk about an unspecified percentage increase in wages if the union agreed to a long term of 30 months.

IG Metall has been trying to push through its demands since October 29 with warning strikes, which, according to union information, involved more than 200,000 employees in the first week alone.

More: “Order backlogs are melting like ice”: Gesamtmetall boss brings zero round for millions of employees into play

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