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German union IG Metall, steel mills to resume pay talks on Jan 23

London — Pay talks between German union IG Metall and steel employers will be resumed on January 23 after a meeting Thursday ended without agreement, IG Metall said Friday.

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IG Metall wants a 6% pay increase for 72,000 steelworkers in northwestern Germany, which the steel employers association Arbeitgeberveband Stahl has rejected.

"Employers opposed the demands of IG Metall for the northwestern steel industry as excessive. They did not make a counteroffer," IG Metall said, adding that good economic conditions justified the pay rise.

However, Arbeitgeberveband Stahl chairman, Andreas Goss, said recent outlooks would suggest a "significant decrease" in economic growth. "The steel industry will also be affected by this. The already very difficult profit situation of our members will therefore not improve in the forseeable future," he said.

Major German steel mills suffered from a weaker second half of 2018 due to price drops, transport issues on the Rhine and lower volume take-ups by the automotive industry due to emission testing backlogs.

The union's obligation not to stage any strikes ends January 31.

--Laura Varriale,

--Edited by Daniel Lalor,

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