In this Jan. 24, 2018 photo, metal workers protest during a warning strike in Ludwigsfelde, Germany. The head of Germany’s largest industrial workers’ union says strikes could escalate if no deal for a new labor agreement can be reached by noon Saturday. Joerg Hoffmann said Friday Jan. 26, 2018 that the IG Metall union was talking again with employers in the southern industrial region of Baden-Wuerttemburg, where any deal would be expected to set the example for 3.9 million workers across the country. (Bernd Settnik/dpa via AP)

German union head: Strikes could escalate if no deal soon

January 26, 2018 - 9:18 am

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of Germany's largest industrial workers' union says strikes could escalate if no deal for a new labor agreement can be reached by noon Saturday.

Joerg Hoffmann said Friday that the IG Metall union was talking again with employers in the southern industrial region of Baden-Wuerttemburg, where any deal would be expected to set the example for 3.9 million workers across the country. The state's home to major companies like automakers Daimler and Porsche.

Hofmann said that if no deal is reached workers could start 24-hour strikes at targeted companies. So far, job actions have been limited to warning strikes of a few hours.

Employers have resisted a union demand to let workers choose a 28-hour week for up to two years, and a 6-percent pay increase.

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