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Germany: strike ends at Vestas

17 July, 2023The 123-day strike at Vestas Deutschland GmbH, subsidiary of Danish Vestas, came to an end as workers voted overwhelmingly to accept a negotiated collective agreement. The outcome includes tariff commitments for wage increases, inflation compensation bonuses, partial retirement options, a remuneration system with job-related requirements, and a salary table for service technicians.

The prolonged strike came to an end as 92 per cent voted in favour of the negotiated agreement and expressed support for ending the strike. The workers achieved their goal of securing a collective agreement at Vestas, marking one of the longest labour disputes in IG Metall's history.

The conflict between the union and Vestas' management was intense and polarized. For 73 days, the company's management refused to negotiate with IG Metall and sought to address wage issues solely through the works council. However, the success of the strike movement challenged this stance, effectively shaping future working conditions at Vestas through collective agreements.

“Throughout the year-long struggle, full-time employees, both political and administrative, who supported the workers at Vestas, have developed deep respect and admiration for their unwavering dedication. Despite the virtual nature of the strike, with digital strike meetings conducted twice a day and no physical picket lines, the workers demonstrated remarkable commitment and solidarity. Trust in IG Metall and its decisions remained strong among members, fueled by the support and solidarity received from all corners of the organization and beyond. Just a month ago a resolution was passed at IndustriALL’s executive committee in Cape town,”

said Jörg Hoffman, IndustriALL president and IG Metall general secretary.

Messages, resolutions, videos, and photos poured in from colleagues worldwide, representing various branches and workplaces. The global community of IG Metall members actively participated in digital strike meetings, leaving a lasting impact. The bargaining committee and all those who attended the strike meetings extended their heartfelt thanks for the overwhelming support, donations, and expressions of solidarity. 

“With the strike now concluded and a collective agreement in place, workers at Vestas can look to the future with improved working conditions and rights secured through their determined efforts. This milestone serves as a testament to the power of unity and solidarity in achieving fair and just outcomes in the labor movement,“

said IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie.

Letter: IndustriALL Global Union congratulates IG Metall on reaching collective agreement at Vestas in Germany