London — Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine is expecting possible intermittent walkouts at various sites this week as Austrian trade unions escalated their campaign in current disputes over pay in the metals sector, the company told S&P Global Platts Tuesday.
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Voestalpine said it was affected by a workers mass meeting at the Boehlerwerk precision strip site on Tuesday, but expects other sites to be affected by industrial action. Those gatherings will "merge" into brief strikes, according to the unions.
"There is the possibility at Voestalpine that further sites will be affected by token strikes related to collective agreement negotiations. We do not expect major implications for production or customers," a spokeswoman told Platts.
Steel plant maker Andritz has also been said to be affected by strikes Tuesday, although this could not be immediately confirmed.
Unions Pro-Ge and GPA-djp have started brief walkouts, so called "token strikes", across metal companies in Austria on Monday and plan to continue the action during the next days.
The negotiations between metal employers and unions for more pay for metal workers broke down on Thursday. A new date for talks has not been set yet.
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"Completely unexpectedly employers have backtracked and told the employees' side that the promised concessions are no longer possible...This backtracking was obviously aimed at forcing the negotiations to fail," the unions said in a joint statement, adding that the deadlock would result in strikes this week.
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