Engineers walk out in Germany

Tens of thousands of German workers representing engineering firms have gone on “warning” strikes across the country over a wage dispute, a trade union said.

Germany’s biggest trade union, IG Metall, which represents 3.7 million workers, said that engineers working for companies such as BMW, Daimler and automotive supplier Schaeffler staged a strike after rejecting an offer from employers for a 2.2 per cent pay increase for 2015 from 1 March.

IG Metall demanded a 5.5 per cent increase for all of 2015 claiming that the solid growth in Germany’s economy could foster such a pay rise.

Some 70,000 workers representing nearly 300 companies took part in the strike, the union said, with Baden-Wuerttemburg and North-Rhine-Westphalia being affected the most.

Further strikes are planned during the coming weeks, unless wage negotiations between employers and the union lead to a deal.

“The next days are going to be hot,” the IG Metall branch of Baden-Wuerttemberg said in a statement.

Security staff at two German airports also went on strike, causing the cancellation of hundreds of flights, following three unsuccessful rounds of pay talks.

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