Daimler, Volkswagen workers expand strikes aimed at improving pay and terms

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 4, 2012

The 800 workers of the night shift at Daimler Sprinter van plant in Dusseldorf walked out last Wednesday. Audi and Porsche (owned by Volkswagen AG) will also be hit by strikes as Germany's IG Metall labor seek better pay and terms in the manufacturing industry. On April 30, Daimler’s Rastatt, Germany, plant experienced warning strikes.

The Porsche and Audi plants were expected to suffer strikes on Thursday. An IG Metall spokesman said last Monday that up to 4,500 workers at Audi's plant in Neckarsulm may join a work stoppage together with an hour-long protest rally participated by as many as 2,500 Porsche workers in Stuttgart. Audi's plant in Neckarsulm produces the A4, A6 and A8.

The union, which represents about 800,000 workers in Daimler's home state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, is aiming to get a 6.5% pay increase, unlimited full-time hiring at the end of apprenticeships and heightened influence over the employment of temporary workers.

The Gesamtmetall manufacturing employers' association Baden-Wuerttemberg branch on April 19 offered a 3% wage increase but the union rejected it, referring to the offer as a “provocation."

More strikes are expected on Wednesday, including protests in Freiburg that will feature a motorcade with 650 workers who will be walking out of Daimler, General Electric Co., Solar-Fabrik AG and other metalworking and electronics firms in the region, according to Marco Sprengler, an IG Metall spokesman in the southern German city.

Topics: daimler, vw, strike

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