Austria chems suspend wage talks amid gloomy forecast

31 March 2009 16:48  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Austria’s chemicals employers have suspended wage talks amid projections of a 10% decline in the domestic chemical industry’s production value in 2009, industry association Fachverband der Chemischen Industrie (FCIO) said on Tuesday.

Employers had offered a 1.3% wage increase and a one-off payment of €300 ($395), with a contract duration of 12 months, but the offer was rejected by chemicals union GDC, the association said.

FCIO said it expected further sharp declines in the industry after new orders dropped 11% towards the end of 2008.

For 2009, the decline in Austrian chemicals production could reach 10%, state press agency APA quoted FCIO head Peter Untersperger as saying in a press briefing.

A spokesman for Vienna-based FCIO was not immediately available for additional comment.

Union GDC said the wage negotiations needed to take into account the industry’s relatively strong 2008 performance. Despite a sharp decline in the second half, the industry grew 5.7% last year.

The talks are scheduled to resume on 20 April.

Austrian chemical producers employ some 43,000 workers. This is down by 1,000 from 44,000 in mid-2008.

($1 = €0.76)

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