German industrial workers from the metals and engineering industries plan to go on strike next week after labour talks collapsed.
Trade union IG Metall called for a six percent pay raise for the millions of workers across Germany over a 27 month period and also called for weekly hours to be reduced from 35 to 28 hours per week to allow employees to tend to family matters and return to their regular schedule after two years.
“We have to step up the pressure on employers in the coming days so that they show some willingness to compromise,” IG Metall chief Joerg Hofmann told journalists in a news conference on Saturday.
Almost a million workers have already participated in walkouts across Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy.
Three hours of protests at BMW’s Munich factory last week resulted in 250 cars not being manufactured, according to the company.
Germany accounts for 28 percent of the EU’s economy and is by far its largest industrial producer. Employers warn that 24-hour nationwide strikes could result in even more delayed production.