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IG Metall wins raises and 28-hour week for German metalworkers

GERMANY’S largest trade union IG Metall reached a settlement today, ending a series of 24-hour strikes that involved thousands of workers.

Labour and employers in Baden-Wuerttemberg state — home to car manufacturer Daimler, Volkswagen's Porsche and auto parts firm Bosch — agreed on the regional deal.

It gives workers the equivalent of 3.5 per cent annual raises over 27 months and the chance to work a 28-hour week for up to two years.

Regional agreements are typically applied across the whole country and some 3.9 million industrial workers. Industrial union IG Metall has some 2.3 million members.

The deal involves the possibility of more flexible working hours, a contentious issue in a strong economy with some firms running at full capacity and facing shortages of skilled workers in some areas.

Employees won the right to the shorter week while employers will be able to put more workers than before on longer 40-hour weeks. The deal runs until March 2020.
 

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