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German industrial workers stage strikes in pay dispute

From Reuters - January 8, 2018

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - German industrial workers staged strikes at companies across the metals and engineering sectors on Monday as part of a campaign by union IG Metall for higher pay.

Night shift workers at automotive supplier Kirchhoff in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia walked out on Monday, as did employees of farming machinery maker Claas, according to the union.

The employers provoked these warning strikes with their behavior at the negotiating table, Knut Giesler, head of IG Metall in North Rhine-Westphalia, said.

The countrys biggest union is demanding a 6 percent wage rise this year for about 3.9 million workers.

Employers have dismissed the pay claim as excessive and so far offered a 2 percent increase plus a 200 euro ($241) one-off payment in the first quarter.

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