800 Workers Walk Out At Sprinter Plant

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
800 workers walk out at sprinter plant

800 workers at a Daimler plant that builds Sprinter commercial vehicles downed their tools and walked off the job after wage talks collapsed.

After years of wage freezes, workers are looking for a raise.

“Our patience is at an end, we want a 6.5 percent wage increase,” Oliver Burkhard, a regional union leader, said in a statement.

“If employers don’t get moving, then today’s warning strikes will be just the beginning. We’re ready for a fight,” he said.

The workers are part of the powerful Ig Metall trade union, which is seeking an identical raise for its 3.6 million members. More walkouts, affecting a further 100 companies, are also planned. Other unions in less prosperous have achieved favorable pay wages in recent years. German workers in unions, particular the public sector have achieved similar wage increases, which far outweigh the rate of inflation.

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  • Fincar1 Fincar1 on May 02, 2012

    The lozenge-shaped front door window is strongly reminiscent of the Toyota Hi-Ace van. Speaking of that van, I completely fail to understand why Toyota isn't building or at least selling them here. We were just in Costa Rica, and at least in the touristy areas where we were I think the passenger version of that might be the most common vehicle of any kind. Each one I rode in was a diesel with 5-speed, but I'm sure Toyota could Camry-ize them for American drivers.

  • Fusion Fusion on May 02, 2012

    You all really need to stop looking at this issue from such an american-centric perspective. Unions are very much an integral and important part of the german economy - warning strikes during wage negotiations, but also forming half the supervisory board in almost all big german companies. This "strike" for example certainly is no surprise and didn't even really make the news here in Germany. Unions by themselves are neither a problem, nor the solution. However, the extreme "us vs. them" attitude found in american companies and unions certainly does seem to be a problem... EDIT: Also, the Sprinter is the most succesful van in its segment in europe. Just saying... ;)

  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on May 02, 2012

    I would have to agree with Fusion there. American Unions are a problem, and there are countries where they are desperately needed (China anyone?) I've not heard many complaints about unions from Germans like I hear about them from Americans. Different countries different rules, trying to paint every country with 1 brush is the biggest problem America has in international relations and American-centric views like replica and lemansteve are saying doesn't help the situation around the world. The USA has an image problem and it's one we need to fix and it starts by us.. the citizens of the USA learning a bit more about other countries before we shoot our mouths off.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on May 03, 2012

    "Just the beginning." What pray tell in Deutchland is the next step after a walkout? If this were Detroit I'd know what that mean, (and it wouldn't need to be said) but how far will they go to get their 6.5?