IG Metall threatens wind turbine manufacturer Vestas with a warning strike | Free press

Germany is facing a boom in renewable energy. It is connected with the hope for the “miracle of green work”. From the IG Metall point of view, however, there is a catch.


In a dispute over a collective agreement, IG Metall is threatening a German subsidiary of the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas with a warning strike. “They informed us that they had no intention of entering into collective agreements with us,” said union negotiator, managing director of Rendsburg IG Metall, Martin Bitter, a German news agency. “I have never faced this categorical and not very diplomatic opposition to collective bargaining.”

Against this background, the union is now exploring the possibility of increasing pressure on the company with a strike, Bitter said. He did not mention the time and scope of such industrial action.

The largest German trade union began talks with Vestas Deutschland GmbH (Hamburg) in mid-May. The last time they spoke to each other in early July, this meeting was very brief, reported Bitter. He repeated his impression that the company preferred to talk to the works council rather than IG Metall about working conditions and wage levels. For a company of this size, such a refusal to cooperate with a union is “unacceptable,” he said. According to IG Metall, the conflict affects a total of around 1,700 workers, including 700 fitters working on the service and maintenance of wind turbines.

Before the talks began in May, Bitter expressed “clear workers’ expectations” about working conditions governed by collective agreements. “The wind industry will play a key role in restructuring our electricity and energy supply in the coming years,” said a trade unionist. “From our point of view, it is all the more important that we take serious steps to increase the reach of collective bargaining in the industry.”

IG Metall has long complained that many suppliers to the wind industry, such as machine manufacturers, have traditionally been subject to collective bargaining agreements for the metal and electrical industries. However, in the case of producers and the service sector, the wind industry has so far refused to be bound by collective agreements. (dpa)

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