Labour Research May 2023

European news

Call for four-day week in steel

IG Metall, Germany’s largest union, has called for the introduction of a four-day week in the steel industry with no loss of pay.

The current agreements only run out in November this year. But Knut Giesler, who will lead the negotiations for the union, wants to use them to produce a “real reduction in the pressure on employees”.

Steel workers currently have a 35-hour week, and the plan is to cut this to 32, worked over four days. The union recognises that it may be difficult to achieve this, especially where there is three-shift working, and it accepts that it may take time to implement.

However, for the union, the prize is “a great improvement in quality of life and health”.