Bloomberg News

German Bank Workers Union Seeks 6% Wage Increase for 220,000

February 28, 2012

Germany’s Ver.di labor union is demanding salary increases of 6 percent for the 220,000 people who work at the country’s private and state-owned banks.

Ver.di will also seek mandatory health protection measures, training arrangements and a renewal of the early retirement collective agreement as it enters the first round of talks in Berlin on March 1, it said in an e-mailed statement today.

“Bank employees shouldn’t be disconnected” from pay increases any longer, Beate Mensch, who is leading the wage negotiations with employers on behalf of Ver.di, said in the statement. “They must finally get a noticeable pay rise.”

German workers are pressing for more pay as falling unemployment and slowing inflation boost income expectations. Business confidence is at a seven-month high and Germany’s Bundesbank said on Feb. 20 that the outlook for the economy has “improved perceptibly,” even though risks remain.

Ver.di has also lodged a claim for a 6.5 percent pay increase for 2 million public-sector workers, saying inflation has left them worse off since the last wage deal was struck in 2010. About 3.6 million workers in Germany’s metal and electrical industries are also seeking a 6.5 percent wage hike as negotiations for new accords get under way next month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Niklas Magnusson in Hamburg at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at

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