BERLIN - German engineering workers may go on strike next month as their influential IG Metall trade union pushes for a 6.5 per cent wage rise for its 3.6 million workers who form the backbone of Germany's industry.
"I firmly expect that there will be warning strikes at the beginning of the month," IG Metall chief Berthold Huber told ARD public television on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, IG Metall rejected a 3 per cent pay rise presented by employers.
While tough reforms are pushing down wages in much of the crisis-hit euro zone periphery, workers in Germany are enjoying the benefits of a robust economy after a decade of wage restraint.
Last month, the 2 million workers in Germany's public sector won a 6.3 per cent pay rise over a 24-month period.
This month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet approved a rise in pensions of 2.2 per cent, roughly in line with inflation, at a time when payouts to retirees are under pressure across parts of Europe.