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German chemicals union threatens strikes over wage dispute
March 12, 2015 / 7:42 PM / 3 years ago

German chemicals union threatens strikes over wage dispute

BERLIN, March 12 (Reuters) - German trade union IG BCE has raised the prospect of strikes after a second round of wage talks with employers in the chemicals industry ended on Thursday without agreement.

The trade union is demanding a 4.8 percent pay rise for some 550,0000 employees. IG BCE described an offer by employers for a 1.6 percent pay increase as a “provocation” and called on members to participate in mass demonstrations.

“1.6 percent - this is way off the mark,” said IG BCE chief negotiator Peter Hausmann in a statement. The next round of talks are due to take place on March 26 and 27 in Stuttgart.

“If there is no result, we will start an arbitration process. Industrial action can also not be ruled out,” Hausmann said.

German unions have been emboldened by news last month that IG Metall, Germany’s biggest trade union, won a thumping 3.4 percent pay increase plus a one-off payment of 150 euros for the 3.7 million engineering workers it represents.

Germany’s inflation rate stood at 0.9 percent in 2014. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Alison Williams)

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