Vestas faces "warning strikes" in Germany

Powerful labor union IG Metall has urged all members to halt work for three hours, thus also affecting the Danish wind OEM’s German subsidiary.
Photo: Vestas / PR
Photo: Vestas / PR

Through its German subsidiary, Vestas faces a labor strike Monday after big union IG Metall has asked all its members employed at the wind turbine maker to lay down work for three hours.

Yet another ”warning” strike will follow later this week, says Rendsburg IG Metall’s chief negotiator, Martin Bitter, report media Handelsblatt and DPA.

According to the union, Vestas Deutschland GmbH (Hamburg) has refused to negotiate a collective agreement on working conditions and wages, thereby prompting to IG Metall to call for ”increasing the number of hits” against the company.

”Vestas is working closely with a labor council to implement new packages of measures and initiatives to remain an attractive, modern and competitive employer in Germany,” a spokesperson from Vestas comments:

”We think this approach accommodates the needs of the whole labor force. Deliberations on further improvements of the operating agreement are underway.”

Martin Bitter calls Vestas’ statement a ”smoke grenade” (Nebelkerze), adding that the talks mentioned don’t pertain to binding labor settlements.

According to Bitter, the council to which Vestas refers has repeatedly told the manufacturer that matters of labor settlements are the domain of unions and not staff representatives.

”The labor council clearly says it wants this to be regulated by the union, and a majority of personnel want the same,” the labor representative tells the media.

IG Metall says the conflict involved around 1,700 staff, including 700 assembly personnel across Germany working within service and maintenance.

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