Anyone considering a German-built car might want to buy it now. It could be a long summer.

Europe's largest industrial union, IG Metall, is taking a tough stance against some job rules German carmakers want to enforce, potentially creating the possibility of a strike, according to TheDetroitBureau.com.

"Talks are resuming, but so far five rounds of negotiations have produced little movement and a round of warning strikes earlier this month at several companies, including Porsche, BMW and Daimler, suggest that the powerful union is gearing up for a confrontation," the Bureau reported earlier this week.

The union wants a 6.5-percent pay raise for its workers and a limit in how many temporary workers the carmakers can use. Around the world, carmakers use temporary workers as way to increase production without increasing union membership and save money.

The union was offered a 3-percent pay raise, but that offer was rejected. Currently, German auto workers are some of the highest paid in the automotive world. And while parts of Europe remain in economic turmoil, Germany has shown signs of slow growth, which might be one reason some government officials are backing IG Metall.

All of this doesn't bode well for General Motors' German-based Opel. GM was hoping to get some concessions from the unions representing its workers as part of its restructuring. But if other carmakers are paying more for its workers, it's unlikely the troubled Opel would be able to squeeze much of its people.


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  • 46 Comments
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      This could help Lexus, Caddy and Infiniti in North America.
      IOMTT
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps we will see more German transplant manufacturing in the Southeast. 6.5% seems like a "door in the face" number to come to the table with. If you get a raise better than COL, consider yourself fortunate.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      SooooRight
      • 2 Years Ago
      fecking unions are the curse of the modern world. I will never buy anything ever again that is Union Made if I have the choice. They can rot in hell.
        Pinhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SooooRight
        Yes, warfare, disease, corruption and pollution - all sweet and cuddly little fuzzy puppies compared to those evil stooge-like guys putting wheels on cars that would like to earn a living wage.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SooooRight
        Sure, if only we can go back to before the unions, where the poor company owner could only afford to pay grateful 14 yr old's to assemble a car. Not to mention that the company owner back in the 19th century was so worried over his workers that he invested in safety equipment even if it meant taking a hit on their margin.... smh
      Macvicar24
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unions are trying to sink the German ship too. Beautiful. Look what they have done to the US auto market. Looks like the Germans will end up with a lower quality product, less productivity and higher operating costs. Union greed = less jobs for Germans. Those jobs will be going elsewhere.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Macvicar24
        Have you seen Ford's, GM's and Fiat's (sorry, Chrysler) numbers lately. While just two or three articles before this one there was a report as to how well Ford is doing.
      Mugzy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Its funny how people down grade Unions, but dont take time to get facts, Idiot say he won't buy any Union made products... LOL union made is american made So, I guess he'd perfer making China richer... Paid Vacations, 40 hour work week, were born from negotiating that from the UAW learn your history. Unions don't close plants, greedy corporations do, by taking it to 3rd worlds where they pay 3 dollars a day. Ignorance is bliss!
        William
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mugzy
        You're about 10% correct.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mugzy
        [blocked]
        Zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mugzy
        they would all prefer to live in mitt Romney's world, where he and his ilk take all the profits and the rest of us are left with scraps, begging for another week of unemployment or food stamps.
        Polly Prissy Pants
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mugzy
        If there's one thing everybody hates, it's people that have things better than they do. Personally I've never understood that mentality that says "I have a shatty job so you should too" when instead they should be saying "Wow, that's really awesome you guys have things so good, maybe I should work to improve my lot as well". But that's how the current generation has been trained. Love the overpaid exec making 8 figures a year at a company that loses money (he earned it!!!), and hate the regular joe doing hard work 40 hours a week just so his kids can eat and maybe have the chance to get that college education. It's no wonder things are the way they are today.
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Given the not so great economy in Europe right now, asking for 6.5% raise is a bit much.
        Georg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @guyverfanboy
        Germany is not Europe... the problems in europe are south europe only, north Europe is doing damn well currently
          Scr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Georg
          No, it really isn't. They have very slow growth economic growth, shrinking markets, and with the southen europe trouble, the Euro itself is in trouble. This is really bad timing for such demands. Kind of strange that the Germans have been outsourcing to Southern US and mexico, and shipping BACK to Europe.
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Georg
          and those particular companies are doing even better
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Adamnski
      • 2 Years Ago
      3% is the national average in the US so seems fair to me, most people here haven't even seen 3% in the last 4 years.
        brnthchldrn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Adamnski
        Our union managed 1.5% but we're getting layed off anyway. That kind of bargaining tactic may not work so well.
      klsyanderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, those union electricians and plumbers are the scourge of the world. Stop bashing only autoworker unions.
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ve vill build ze auto in thee american zouth then.
        Carlos Cruz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @thedriveatfive
        I don't agree but it still made me laugh. I don't think that those picky Germans will allow anything other than the low end products to be sent off to Mexico for production. I don't think they'll ever be a Mexican Phaeton or A8. I'd think the Germans would rather give them a 10% raise before that happens.
      Joseph
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unions raise prices and corrupt employees. Why don't these automakers just kick them out and hire who they want?
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