Workers in Germany's electrical and metalworking sectors can enjoy a hefty pay rise in July after a two month wage dispute has been settled. The deal is expected to set the tone for pay talks in other industries.
Labor unions and employers in Germany's electrical and metalworking sectors settled for a two-step pay increase of 3.4 percent in July and a further 2.2 percent in May 2014, the powerful IG Metall metalworkers' union announced Wednesday.
The settlement will increase wages for about 3.7 million industrial workers and is scheduled to last for a period of 20 months. Originally, labor unions had demanded 5.5 percent higher wages for a one-year period, while employers had offered 2.3 percent for 13 months.
"With this deal, workers are being treated in a fair and appropriate way, in line with the [sectors'] economic situation," said IG Metall president Bertold Huber after the settlement was announced Wednesday morning.
Rainer Dulger, the president of the Gesamtmetall employers' association, said the agreement provided enough scope for planning for the companies.
Following a series of unsuccessful warning strikes earlier this month, which had hit major firms such as BMW, Siemens and Bosch, labor unions were preparing a vote on unlimited strike action if no agreement would have been reached this week.
The wage agreement is still subject to approval by IG Metall's wage committee, but labor representatives said they were convinced the panel would give its go ahead to the deal.
uhe/dr (Reuters, AP, dpa)