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Caterpillar workers in Germany get above-inflation pay rise

28 May, 2012The settlement reached on May 20, 2012 between IG Metall and the Employers Association in the key State of Baden-Württemberg has been extended to other regions, thereby applying to all Caterpillar workers in Germany.

GERMANY:   IG Metall Küste and the regional Employers' Association Nordmetall, which Caterpillar is part of, agreed to endorse the pilot agreement reached in Baden-Württemberg. As a result, Caterpillar workers in Kiel and Rostock in Northern Germany will receive  a 4.3 per cent wage increase - the highest wage deal in two decades. The pay rise took effect on May 1, 2012 and will apply until April 30, 2013. With the inflation rate currently hovering at two per cent, the rise in wages and salaries represents an important boost to workers' purchasing power. 

The agreement also covers workers at the former Bucyrus and Motoren-Werke-Mannheim (MWM)  facilities in Germany that Caterpillar acquired in 2011, following a similar endorsement by the bargaining partners in North-Rhine Westphalia. 

In addition to the pay rise, the agreement provides for better job security for apprentices.  Works Councils have also secured co-determination rights to restrict the use of agency workers.  What is more, agency workers will receive additional bonuses linked to length of service and companies will have to offer them a permanent job after they have been employed for 24 months.

IG Metall Küste and Nordmetall also agreed to intensify and develop activities for disadvantaged young people.  A common fund  will be set up to finance qualification projects for underprivileged young people.  Sponsorship with selected secondary schools in socially deprived areas is also being planned to support young people in transition from school to work.

The agreement was reached following several days of warning strikes across Germany.  Commenting on the outcome of the negotiations, Monika Schilling, member of the Steering Group of the IMF Caterpillar Network, stated that "the warning strikes in which Caterpillar workers also participated have greatly contributed to reaching this result, in particular concerning the issue of apprentices and agency workers".  Today Caterpillar employs some 4,500 workers in Germany.