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German steel workers strike deal for 6.5% wage hike

·1-min read

BERLIN (Reuters) - German steel workers and employers have struck a deal for a 6.5% wage hike from August, ending lengthy negotiations that come amid soaring inflation and a spike in energy prices.

"This is the highest percentage increase in the steel industry in 30 years," said Knut Giesler, negotiator for powerful labour union IG Metall in northwestern Germany.

Workers will also receive a one-time payment of 500 euros for the months of June and July to help them offset high energy prices.

IG Metall had initially demanded an 8.2% pay rise for the roughly 68,000 workers.

German inflation rose to its highest level in nearly half a century in May on the back of soaring energy and food prices, which are hitting consumers.

But steelmakers such as Thyssenkrupp, Salzgitter and ArcelorMittal, which profited from high prices during the pandemic, are also facing rising energy and raw material costs.

(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Elke Ahlswede and Katharina Loesche; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Paul Carrel)

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