Several thousand Volkswagen workers took to the streets of Hanover on Tuesday as the pay talks between unions and management dragged on, and there was a similar demonstration in Wolfsburg in front of the main management building.
IG Metall began short wildcat strikes last week to press its case for a two point two percent pay rise, but Volkswagen wants its workers to bite the bullet and accept a two year wage freeze as the giant carmaker struggles to cut costsand raise competitivity. The alternative, warns the management, is sweeping job losses. Both sides report progress on some issues in the talks, which went on for nine hours on Monday and look like continuing on a marathon scale, but they remain as far apart as ever on others. The talks are doubly important for Germany, as they will set the tone for the whole metallurgical sector.