DUESSELDORF, Germany, March 17 (Reuters) - Around 72,000 steel workers in northwestern Germany will get 2.3 percent more pay from April, employers’ group Arbeitgeberverband Stahl said on Friday, one of several sectors in Europe’s largest economy to give workers a solid wage rise this year.
The deal was reached overnight after a third round of negotiations in the western city of Duesseldorf and included an agreement for workers to get a further wage increase of 1.7 percent from May 1, 2018, the employers’ group said.
The wage agreement runs for 22 months to the end of 2018.
Trade union IG Metall has called for the employees at firms like Thyssenkrupp und Salzgitter to get 4.5 percent more wages over the course of 12 months.
Employers had only agreed to a 1.3 percent rise during a second round of negotiations on March 6 but thousands of steel workers have since exerted pressure on their employers by carrying out warning strikes.
Private consumption helped the German economy to grow 1.9 percent in 2016 and economists expect domestic demand to drive growth this year thanks to record-high employment, increased job security, rising wages and rock-bottom borrowing costs.
In February, Germany’s federal states agreed with trade unions a two-stage wage increase of 4.35 percent for more than two million civil servants and other public sector employees. (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Nick Macfie)