Germany′s chemical workers secure solid pay rise | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 24.05.2012
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Germany's chemical workers secure solid pay rise

Germans working in the chemical industry can look forward to an above-average pay hike this year and beyond. Collective bargaining talks between employers and unions have come to an agreement earlier than expected.

Chemical workers in Germany will in future have more in their pockets. A wage deal struck on Thursday after some rounds of negotiations between employers and trade unions secures them a 4.5-percent monthly pay rise. It will fully come into effect nationwide between July and August.

The 500,000 employees in the chemical industry had originally demanded a 6.0-percent rise in wages, but the deal sealed on Thursday was considered a success by both negotiating sides anyway.

"We've reached a wage agreement that we can well live with," chief negotiator for the IG BCE Industrial Union told reporters in Berlin on Thursday.

Provisions for older staff

"We too have reached our main objectives and agreed what we think is a fair compromise with the union," said Hans-Carsten Hansen who represented affected employers' organizations.

Negotiators said the collective agreement would be valid for 19 months. They added that the labor deal also obliged employers to pay over 200 million euros ($276.3 million) into a so-called "demography fund" to enable older workers to profit from partial retirement schemes between 2013 and 2015.

The deal puts the core working time at 37.5 hours per week, with 35 to 40-hour working weeks being possible on a temporary basis.

hg/gb (dpa, Reuters)