These strikes, triggered by the powerful IG Metall labor union, were held as a warning shot before a decision is made whether to instigate extended industrial action. If this decision is made, it could cost the German automakers hundreds of millions of euros in lost production, Automotive News reports.
On the back of the strikes, the union and the employers said they are open to resuming talks this week, but both insist that the other side must make concessions.
IG Metall is demanding an 8 per cent pay rise over 27 months for its 3.9 million members in the metals and engineering sector. Additionally, the union wants workers to have the option of reducing their weekly hours to 28 from 35 to care for children, elderly or sick relatives. After two years of reduced hours, they could return to full time work.
Employers in the metals and engineering sector have offered a 6.8 per cent wage increase but shot down the idea of reduced hours, unless they are able to also increase hours when necessary.
“Now it is up to the employers to understand the signal we are sending and make a significant improvement to their offer. If the employers are willing to do that, talks can resume on Monday,” IG Metall chief Joerg Hofmann said.