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

14 March 2012 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical employers on Wednesday rejected a union’s call for a 6% wage increase for the country’s chemical workers this year.

Labour union IG BCE, in calling for the wage hike last month, had cited the strong 2011 performance and high profits reported by many firms in Germany’s chemical industry.

However, Wiesbaden-based chemical employers trade group BAVC said that the outlook for Germany’s chemical industry had dimmed.

The group cited the latest forecast by chemical producers’ trade association VCI, which said this month that it expects no growth in the country’s chemical production this year.

“We are calling for realism in the 2012 collective bargaining round,” said BAVC general manager Wolfgang Goos.

Goos called for a deal that reflects the current economic weakness, uncertainties from the eurozone debt crisis, and the high volatility in markets.

The union's claim for 2012 compares with a 4.1% wage increase under the current 15-month deal from early 2011 and a wage freeze in 2010.

A first round of regional wage negotiations in Germany’s chemical industry is scheduled to begin on 17 April. On the federal level, wage talks are expected to begin in early May.

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

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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