4.3% pay deal for German metal and motor workers


German metalworkers have been granted their biggest wage rise in 20 years, setting the stage for similar deals in other sectors.

The IG Metall union, for 3.6 million workers in the metal and motor industry, have agreed a 4.3 per cent pay deal in talks with employers — the largest rise since 1992. An end to years of pay restraint could help boost German domestic consumption.

Germany’s euro zone partners have said its multibillion annual trade surplus – high exports, low imports – was a contributing factor in the euro zone crisis.

“The era of moderate wage increases is over,” said Jörg Krämer, Commerzbank’s chief economist, predicting an above- average labour cost rise in Germany. “This will help peripheral countries regain loss in price competitiveness.”