German steelworkers reach pay deal with union

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s largest trade union, IG Metall, agreed a wage deal on Saturday for the roughly 70,000 workers in the iron and steel industry in north-west Germany.

Under the agreement, which runs for 15 months and was struck after seven hours of talks, workers will receive lump-sum payments of 250 euros ($295) each on December 28 this year and February 28, 2022, according to IG Metall.

From February 28, 2023, the steelworkers will then receive an additional payment of 600 euros a year. The parties also agreed on a one-off coronavirus allowance of 500 euros, which is to be paid out as early as the end of June.

The union had originally demanded a 4% pay rise for the steelworkers of companies like Thyssenkrupp and Salzgitter.

“In the biggest economic crisis of the post-war period, the collective bargaining partners in the steel industry have found a responsible and fair compromise,” said Knut Giesler, head of IG Metall in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The parties also agreed to come up with a collective agreement framework for the transition to CO2-neutral steel production.

($1 = 0.8477 euros)

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Caroline Copley; Editing by Jan Harvey