High inflation and production problems put IG Metall under pressure. The union wants to get a permanent wage increase for its members. A number has not yet been given.

In view of the high inflation, the demands for a long-term effective wage increase for collective bargaining in the metal and electrical industry in the IG Metall are coming to a head.

That became clear on Thursday at the nationwide meetings of the regional wage commissions, which want to lash down their exact wage demands by June 30th. According to the previous schedule, these must then be confirmed by the federal executive board of the union on July 11th. The contracts for around 3.7 million employees in the core sectors of German industry expire at the end of September.

After four years without a table increase and restraint in the Corona crisis, the employees expected a significant increase in pay, also in view of the enormous price increases, said Bavaria’s district manager Johann Horn after the discussion. Unlike one-off payments, these would have to be permanently included in the salary schedules. It is already clear that a “significant increase in fees” is necessary, said the district manager of Lower Saxony-Saxony-Anhalt, Thorsten Gröger. Due to the rapid inflation and in view of the often lavish corporate profits, the employees urgently need to be financially better off.

Special general conditions

“In the forthcoming collective bargaining round, we want to make a contribution to stabilizing purchasing power and give employees an appropriate share in the predominantly good economic situation in the industry,” explained the influential Stuttgart district manager Roman Zitzelsberger. The special framework conditions due to the Ukraine war and the lockdown in China will of course be taken into account. “But most companies still earn well, extra shifts and overtime are the order of the day.”

Last month, the inflation rate in Germany was 7.9 percent, its highest level in almost 50 years. Economists do not expect the price level to drop quickly. The regional wage talks in the metal and electrical industry should start in mid-September at the latest. The peace obligation ends on October 28.

The first warning strikes began this week in the steel industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony and Bremen. There, the wage demand of IG Metall is 8.2 percent. Employers have so far offered 2100 euros as a one-off payment.