By on January 31, 2013

 

Uh-oh: The price of doing car business in Germany is heading up, increasing pressure especially on Opel. “Germany’s IG Metall union may push a pay claim between 5 and 6.5 percent for about 100,000 workers at VW’s six western German factories” Bernd Osterloh, head of VW’s works council told  Reuters today. What does this have to do with Opel, you say?

Metalworker pay is negotiated largely on a union-wide basis, not on a company basis.  If IG Metall gets a 6.5 percent pay raise, then this applies to everybody, including Opel. Osterloh, who also sits on IG Metall’s board, confirmed that “demands for VW workers will be broadly in line with claims the IG Metall will be pushing for about 3.7 million German metal and engineering staff.”

Until October 2012, GM had not paid the 4.3 percent payhike negotiated for all IG Metall workers in May.  Late October, it was decided to cover the deferred raise with a lump sum payment, and to defer the salary raise again for the time after that. This in return for keeping Opel’s plants open through 2016. A week ago, Steve Girsky reneged. I don’t think he will get a similar deal when pay goes up again this year.

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