IG Metall boss Jörg Hofmann sees good chances of coming to a pilot wage agreement for the German metal and electronics industry in Baden-Württemberg. In the past few days, the employers have been sounded out and a jumping-off point created, the trade unionist said on Tuesday of the German Press Agency. “Employers can clear the way,” said Hofmann before the fifth regional round of negotiations for the southwest, which begins on Thursday in Ludwigsburg.

Hofmann said that while they have come closer to each other on many detailed questions, the term of the collective agreement and the extent of the increase are still completely open. After two and a half weeks of warning strikes, there are high expectations at the grassroots level. From his point of view, it is becoming apparent that the amount of 3,000 euros made tax- and duty-free by the federal government will flow in several one-off payments.

The trade union, on the other hand, is skeptical about employers’ ideas of making individual stages dependent on the return on sales of the respective company. In addition to the one-off payments, permanent and substantial increases in the salary tables are indispensable for IG Metall. That is the core of the demand, said Hofmann. “The colleagues can also do arithmetic and want to know what the degree will bring for their future.”

IG Metall is demanding 8.0 percent more wages for the approximately 3.9 million employees with a contract period of twelve months. The employers have offered a one-off payment of 3,000 euros net for a period of 30 months, as well as an increase in the wage tables that has not yet been specified. They refer, among other things, to the expected economic crisis in Germany and sharply rising energy costs.

In the event of failure, the board of IG Metall will decide on how to proceed on Friday night, the union boss announced. 24-hour warning strikes in all collective bargaining areas and ballots followed by area strikes in individual regions could be considered. “Baden-Württemberg would definitely be there,” announced Hofmann. If no agreement is reached on Thursday, the union cannot return to the negotiating table very quickly.