Porsche is facing a walkout of staff this week at its Zuffenhausen plant as German labour unions demand a pay rise for workers.
The IG Metall labour union is pushing for staff to down tools for an hour this week as it calls for a six percent wage rise for around 3.9 million workers in the metal and engineering sectors, which includes Germany's car industry. It is also pushing for a shorter working week – and what's more, workers tend to respond when IG Metall calls to action.
'The current stance of the employers' lobby is a provocation to workers,' said Porsche works council chief Uwe Hueck in an emailed statement. 'The metal and engineering industry has never before made so much profit. That's why there is only one appropriate response: Warning strikes.'
The strikes haven't been met with universal support however. Employers feel that the pay rise demands are excessive, and have offered a two percent raise along with one-off payment of just under £200 as a compromise.
Suedwestmetall, an employers' lobby based in Baden-Wuerttemberg alongside Porsche, Daimler and components supplier Robert Bosch called out the strike plans, saying they would add unnecessary pressure to upcoming talks. 'The fact that employees are laying down their work already before the planned warning strikes on 8 January is irresponsible and is placing an unnecessary burden on further talks,' said Suedwestmetall managing director Peer-Michael Dick.
The next round of pay negotiations have been tabled for this Thursday, but the walkouts will take plays in the days leading up in order to apply pressure. Last week workers several hundred workers in Lower Saxony walked out from a number of facilities, including Bosch, in support of the pay calls.