October 26, 2017 / 2:03 PM / in a year

German union approves push for 6 pct pay hike, flexible hours

BERLIN, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Germany’s largest trade union said on Thursday it had approved plans to demand 6 percent more pay and reduced working hours for the nearly four million workers in the metals and electrical sectors.

The demands by IG Metall reflects growing self-confidence among trade unions, who say employees should benefit as Europe’s biggest economy is set to grow by roughly 2 percent this year.

The approved demands were presented by IG Metall’s board for the 2018 wage negotiations earlier this month. Talks are expected to start mid-November.

Rainer Dulger, the head of the Gesamtmetall employers association for the metal working industry has already rejected the demands, saying overall wages in the sector had risen by nearly 20 percent over the past five years.

IG Metall said earlier this week it would push for the same wage demands for the more than 120,000 staff at Volkswagen’s German plants and the financial services division of the carmaker.

Reporting by Joseph Nasr, editing by Emma Thomasson

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