BERLIN - Germany's largest trade union, IG Metall, agreed a 2.3% wage increase for the period running to October 2022 in a key western state early on Tuesday morning, setting the benchmark for 3.9 million workers in the metalworking sector nationwide.
The agreement was reached with a consortium of industrial employers in the state, the union said.
The union, which represents 2.2 million employees in Europe's biggest economy, had originally demanded a 4% wage increase, reduced working hours and re-training to protect jobs. The union had earlier called for walkouts to raise the pressure.
The increase, agreed after 10 hours of talks, will be paid out from February 2022. It will be referred to as "transformation money", and can be paid, on agreement with local works councils, as reduced working hours, in the form of a four-day week.
In addition, workers will receive a one-time "coronavirus premium" of 500 euros.
"This agreement offers answers to the pressing problems of our time: the acute consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the structural challenges of our industries," the influential branch of the union in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Katharina Loesche; Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Tom Hogue) ((Madeline.Chambers@thomsonreuters.com; +4930220133578;))