Germany chemical employers slam union's call for 6-7% wage hike

11 January 2011 14:54  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical employers are rejecting union IG BCE’s demand for a 6-7% wage increase this year, an employers trade group said on Tuesday.

Wiesbaden-based BAVC said the union’s demand was not justified, given that Germany’s chemical producers were still operating below their pre-crisis performance levels.

IG BCE must make sure it keeps its feet on the ground, and does not allow itself to be misled by the usual 2010 numbers,” said BAVC general manager Hans Paul Frey.

The strong year-on-year 2010 improvement in the chemical industry merely reflected the depth of the decline in 2009, Frey said.

“The industry has recovered much quicker than all experts expected, but we still do not have a genuine recovery with increases over and above pre-crisis performance,” Frey said.

In fact, many smaller and medium-sized chemical firms were still struggling with the fall-out from the crisis, he said.

“The union must realise that we are negotiating for 2011 – the unusual years of 2009 and 2010 are over and done with,” Frey added.

Chemical employers expected this year’s collective bargaining with IG BCE to be difficult, BAVC added. Federal collective bargaining in the industry is expected to begin next month.

BAVC represents the interests of 1,900 firms in Germany's chemicals and rubber industries, employing some 550,000 workers.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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