Wednesday March 24th 2021
Employees demand more wages
Warning strikes paralyze VW production
The warning strikes at Volkswagen paralyzed production in Emden and Hanover for a short time. At both locations, the actions announced by IG Metall led to an interruption in production for around two hours, as reported by the company and the union. The reason for the protest was the renewed postponement of talks about a new company tariff for the more than 120,000 employees of the VW core brand in the West German plants. Representatives of the employees and management had split up the previous evening without any concrete result. VW has in the meantime submitted a tariff offer, but this is not enough for IG Metall. In Emden, according to the union, another two-hour shutdown is planned for the late shift.
Members of the negotiating commission reported to the employees in more than 100 individual rounds of talks about the status of the collective bargaining dispute, said the first authorized representative of IG Metall Emden, Franka Helmerichs. At the headquarters of the light VW commercial vehicles in Hanover, more than 2,200 employees are said to have participated in the temporary absence. This is also where IG Metall district manager Thorsten Gröger and works council members appeared before the workforce. Gröger said they would “not be fobbed off” with the package presented. The union also announced further actions at the Salzgitter engine plant.
The day before, after a long hesitation, Volkswagen had agreed to make a one-off payment of 250 euros to the collective bargaining employees in the first half of 2021 and then a table-based pay increase of 1.2 percent in the coming year. Overall, the collective agreement should extend until mid-2023. In addition, instead of the previous performance component, employees are to receive a standard special payment of 1,800 euros per year. IG Metall is demanding four percent more money, an extended conversion into days off and new commitments for apprenticeships. Gröger described the wage offer as “puny”. In addition, rising inflation could ultimately transform the growth over the long term required by VW into a real wage minus.