Audi backs one-time staff payments on permanent pay rises

BERLIN (Reuters) – German carmaker Audi is in favor of offering employees one-time tax-free payments instead of permanent pay rises, its human resources director said, as unions in the biggest economy Demand Higher Wages Given Rising Inflation.

The purchasing power of workers in Germany has already taken a hit, with consumer price inflation at 11.6% in October. Employers, however, do not see much opportunity for wage increases due to rising material and energy costs.

Germany’s IG Metall union has called for strikes among workers in the metal and electrical industry which began on Saturday night in some companies as it demands an 8% pay rise for 3.8 million workers in the largest industrial sector in the country.

The union rejected an employer offer of 3,000 euros spread over 30 months as a temporary solution to help workers cope with inflation.

But such a payment could be a way to reach an agreement, said Audi human resources director Xavier Ros, adding that responding to rising consumer prices with significant wage increases would hurt the economy. long-term.

“What we need to discuss is how sustainable such a big pay rise is when we’re talking about a temporary problem,” Ros was quoted by German weekly Automobilwoche as saying.

Audi, a Volkswagen Group brand, is not itself a direct partner in wage negotiations, but it adopts the results of the talks in a collective wage agreement.

“The situation is difficult, and that’s why I understand that these negotiations are more complicated than usual,” added Ros.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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