Metaller-KV: Trade unionists threaten to extend the strikes

Metaller-KV: Trade unionists threaten to extend the strikes
The employees’ chief negotiators Reinhold Binder (PRO-GE) and Karl Dürtscher (GPA)
Image: Apa

These are the first metal workers’ strikes since 2018. An expansion could take place in stages, said employee negotiator from the PRO-GE union, Reinhold Binder, in the Ö1 “Morgenjournal”. But from Saturday they will be ready to negotiate again. “Compensation for inflation is the minimum,” said Binder. The negotiations assume rolling inflation of 9.6 percent – that is the average inflation from September 2022 to the same month this year. Overall, the employee representatives’ demand is 11.6 percent. Binder emphasized several times that business had gone well in the past. “We are fighting for the money that has already arrived in the companies’ accounts.”

On the other hand, the employers’ side has never tired of pointing out the gloomy current situation and the initially weak future prospects in a prevailing recession. The unions said on Monday evening that their improved offer for wage and salary increases was still significantly too low for the employee representatives, at an average of six percent.

Video: Metaller negotiations broken off:

The employers would be “throwing sand in their eyes” with the offer, said Binder on Tuesday morning. These speak of six percent plus a one-off payment of 1,200 euros net. That’s an average plus 8.2 percent and for the lowest incomes up to 12 percent.

There will now be one-day strikes in around 200 companies until November 17th. Binder said that today and on Wednesday they are also looking at the KV discussions in other metal industry sectors – other trade associations, the “main match” takes place in the metal technology industry with 130,000 employees. The progress there will influence the actions of the unions.

At the German mechanical engineering company Trumpf in Pasching in Upper Austria, which has a total of 830 employees, the early shift employees reported ready for work, but went on strike. Two pickets were stationed at the company entrance. Workers’ works council boss Alfred Sacher told ORF radio: “The mood is very angry. People expected a lot from yesterday’s negotiations and do not agree with the employers’ improvements. They will not start work today. The strike lasts until 10 p.m .”

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