Unions, VW Strike Wage Deal | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.11.2004
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Unions, VW Strike Wage Deal

Management and labor unions at German auto maker Volkswagen reached an agreement Wednesday that will bring an end to their long-running wage dispute, a union official said. "We have found a compromise," a representative of IG Metall, the country's biggest industrial union, said in Hanover, northern Germany after some 26 hours of talks between the parties. The deal includes a concession from the union on wages in return for a long-term employment guarantee for Volkswagen's 103,000 workers at six plants in Germany, the spokesman said. Tens of thousands of workers held short warning strikes at two Volkswagen plants on Tuesday in an effort to increase pressure on the negotiators, who have been meeting for several weeks. VW had been seeking a two-year wage freeze for the 103,000 staff on its German assembly lines and a 30 percent reduction in labor costs by 2011. IG Metall was demanding job guarantees for 10 years and a four-percent increase in wages. But it had signalled it would accept a two percent increase if it could obtain an "acceptable" solution with regard to the job guarantees.