Steel Workers Ready For More Temporary Walkouts

German labor union is seeking an 8 percent raise for its members, citing ‘fat’ profits among steel makers, or else workers will escalate its wave of temporary walkouts.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The IG Metall labor union warned Monday that it is ready to escalate its wave of temporary walkouts at steel plants in Germany if new talks do not result in an agreement.

Employers said they would present a wage offer at a third round of negotiations, scheduled for Tuesday.

IG Metall is seeking an 8 percent raise for its members, citing what it called ''fat'' profits among steel makers. Employers have said such an increase would be too high.

Any wage hikes could, economists argue, augment inflation in the euro zone, which hit 3.2 last month, worrying the European Central Bank.

Last week, several thousand steel workers walked off their jobs in Germany in a series of brief stoppages.

In addition to the wage hike, the union is seeking more money for apprentices and shorter working hours for older employees.
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